Jalal Mansur Nuriddin
|Jalal Mansur Nuriddin|
|Birth name||Alafia Pudim|
|Also known as||Lightnin' Rod|
Brooklyn, New York
|Genres||Spoken word, rapping, hip hop music|
|Associated acts||The Last Poets|
Jalaluddin Mansur Nuriddin, born in Brooklyn, New York, 1944, is one of the founding members of The Last Poets, a group of poets and musicians that evolved in the 1960s out of the Harlem Writers Workshop in New York City.
A devout Muslim, poet, acupuncturist, and martial art exponent (a practitioner of a form of bak mei) , he was incarcerated and was given early release on condition that he join the US Army, where he trained as a paratrooper but was imprisoned again for refusing to salute the Flag. He received an honourable discharge and went to work for a bank on Wall Street. He converted to Islam and learned to spiel, an early form of rap, which he called "spoagraphics" or "spoken pictures". His talent and genius with words and rhythm are renowned. He joined The Last Poets shortly after their first album Right On, which was the soundtrack to a movie of the same name. His name at the time was Alafia Pudim, but he changed it to the Islamic name (Jalaluddin - The Glory Of The Faith, Mansur - Victorious, Nuriddin - The Light Of The Faith) by which he is known today. Jalal soon became the band leader, and as members came and went the style developed from prose into rhyme, with the main catalogue consisting of works by himself and fellow poet and friend Sulieman El-Hadi.
Lightnin' Rod was the pseudonym of Alafia Pudim when he released his seminal Hustlers Convention LP featuring tracks like Sport and Spoon and Coppin' Some Fronts For The Set in 1973. The album release on United Artists featured Tina Turner and the Ikettes, Bernard Purdie, Billy Preston, Colonel Dupree, and Kool and the Gang. Most of the lyrics deal with the way of living in ghettos, i.e. hustling, drugs, gambling and money with the outcome being a shoot out with the cops followed by jail where the hustlers learn "The whole truth". A sequel, The Hustlers Detention is purportedly in the pipeline.
The "Mankind" single, "Mankind,Pt.2", produced by Skip McDonald and release on Adrian Sherwood's label On-U-Sound, can be heard over the closing credits of the film "187", featuring Samuel L. Jackson.
Jalal recently wrote the foreword to Malik Al Nasir's poetry anthology "Ordinary Guy", published in the UK by Fore-Word Press. He also featured in the documentary "Word up - From Ghetto to Mecca", along with poets Gil Scott Heron, Mark T. Watson a.k.a. Malik Al Nasir and dub poet Benjamin Zephaniah, where he discussed the significance of the spoken word as an extension of the African oral tradition, as well as the origins of rap and the work of his student and friend Malik Al Nasir.
Jalal now spends his time mainly in Aix-En-Provence, in the south of France. He is currently working on his autobiography. In April 2008 He reunited and reconciled with fellow Last Poets Umar Bin Hassan and Abiodun Oyewole, along with David Nelson and Felipe Luciano, all of whom appear in "Made In Amerikkka", a documentary by French film maker Claude Santiago. There have been suggestions of future live appearances in 2009.
On September 11, 2009 Jalal appeared live in New York, a return to the United States after more than twenty years.
 Selected discography
- On The One
- The Fruits Of Rap
- Science Friction
- Long Enough 12" (The Last Poets)
- Mean Machine (1984) 12"
 The Last Poets
 Lightnin' Rod
- Hustlers Convention (1973, United Artists Records)
- Doriella Du Fontaine (Session Recorded By Alan Douglas in late 1969, with Jimi Hendrix and Buddy Miles)
 Guest appearances
- Material: The Third Power; E Pluribus Unum and Power Of Soul (Black Chant).
- Working Week: Working Nights / 12" ; Stella Marina.
- Apollo 440: Dude Descending A Staircase; Hustler Groove and The Children Of The Future.
- Cosmo Vitelli: Video ; Science Affliction.
- Silent Poets: Words and Silence; Inquizative, Derivative, and The Children Of The Future.
- Faya Dub: Sings and Plays; Reggae Monk.
- Seven Dub: Rock It Tonight; Land Of The Lost and Naturally.
- Michel Benita : Drastic; Sky Screen.
- Aktivist : Stereotape; Nouvelle Experience.
- Various Artists: Acid Jazz And Other Illicit Grooves (Spoken Word - Introduction Only)
- Various Artists: 12" / 30 Ans Apres Martin Luther King.
- Various Artists: Tempo Jazz Edition Volume 1 - Talking Loud; Mean Machine '90 .
- Malik & The OG's: "Rhythms of the Diaspora Vol II" (Spoken Word - Jazzoetry) CPR Recordings 2009 ; Malik's Mode.
- "Poetic Justice" - directed by John Singleton. With Janet Jackson & Tupac Shakur.
- "Word Up - From Ghetto To Mecca" produced by Shirani Sabaratnam - Documentary for Fore-Word Press with Mark T. Watson, Gil Scott Heron & Benjamin Zephaniah.
- "Art Blakey" directed by Dick Fontaine. Featuring Art Blakey, Wayne Shorter, Branford Marsalis, Courtney Pine and Steve Willamson.
- http://www.fore-word.com/ Fore-Word Press