Executive Produced by Public Enemy’s Chuck D, Hustlers Convention is a documentary film on the forgotten roots of rap. The film centres around the life and times of Jalal Mansur Nuriddin of The Last Poets and the forgotten influence of his seminal record Hustlers Convention.
Hustlers Convention is an album that changed the face of music. It gave the streets a voice and was recited in inner cities across America. Despite being largely forgotten, it still resonates with meaning today. The likes of Fab Five Freddy and Melle Mel can still recite the album word for word.
Animation sequences bring to life the epic story contained within the Convention, as its themes interweave with the history and culture that is being explored. Footage from iconic Blaxploitation films of the era and historical archive further bring the period to life. However, this is more than just a tale of how a sub-culture evolved, it is also a personal and very human story of Jalal’s own struggles.
Taking its title from the album, the film reveals the deep roots rap music has in the oral tradition of the Jail Toast, rhymed storytelling filled with larger than life characters. In Hustlers Convention, Jalal’s toasting style met the politics of the post-Malcolm X era and gave birth to rap as we know it today.
In the words of Fab Five Freddy, Hustlers Convention is ‘the greatest toast of them all.’