Jalal Mansur Nuriddin of The Last Poets Dead at 74
Hip-hop has lost another great pioneer, as Jalal Mansur Nuriddin of The Last Poets has reportedly passed away at the age of 74. Umar Bin Hassan, who helped found the group with Nuriddin, confirmed the death of his longtime friend on Instagram, where he gave him an emotional tribute.
While the cause of Nuriddin's death has not been revealed, his family has reportedly asked for privacy during their time of grieving. They are planning on releasing funeral details for the hip-hop veteran in the near future.
The Last Poets also unveiled an official statement about the death of the founder, according to Rolling Stone.
"It is with extreme sadness and a heavy heart that the family of Jalal Nuriddin announce the passing of this great pioneer of the recording industry," the statement reads. "A member of the Last Poets, and also known as ‘The Grandfather of Rap’, Jalal slipped quietly away this evening into the arms of Allah. The family asks that you respect their privacy at this time, and refrain from all calls and contact. Details regarding his jananza (furneral) will be forthcoming shortly. They ask that you make dua for Jalal especially during these last 10 days of Ramadan. Thank you."
Nuriddin helped form The Last Poets alongside Gylan Kain, David Nelson, and Felipe Luciano in the late 1960s. They rose to fame as a group out of the experiences of Nuriddin being a U.S. Army paratrooper who chose jail as an alternative to fighting in Vietnam in the late 1960s. He has repeatedly been referred to as "the grandfather of rap" and converted to Islam during his time in prison. The group released their first EP in 1970 after signing to jazz producer Alan Douglas.
The Last Poets were known as a group that helped lay the foundation for hip-hop and became forefathers of giving Black America a new voice. They delivered and performed their first poems publicly in Mount Morris park in Harlem back on May 19, 1968, which was Malcolm X's 43rd birthday.
While this is a sad loss for hip-hop, we know that Jalal Mansur Nuriddin's legacy will continue to live on through his loved ones.
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