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Hustlers' Convention

4.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 8, 1993
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 8, 1993)
  • Original Release Date: 1970
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Celluloid Records
  • ASIN: B000008HQM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,693 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Eddie Landsberg VINE VOICE on August 25, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Shame on our culture for at one time letting this album become rare and out of print... and hands up for it going back in print.

Part blaxploitation on vinyl part Jazzoetry, this recording features some incredibly funky and jazzed out backing music by none other than KOOL AND THE GANG as Lighnin' Rod (a former Last Poet's member) tells his Iceberg Slim style tale of getting over.

A CONCEPT ALBUM taken to ridiculous extremes, Hustlers' Convention is the album that influenced not only the evolution of rap, but document the now almost lost art of Street Poetry...

Fans of Gil Scott Heron, Rudy Ray Moore and the Last Poets will wet their pants within moments of the opening track... and so too will fans of funk and '70s soul... Even I know half the lyrics by heart (however, trust me, you won't hear me making a schmuck out of myself trying to recite it in public...)

Tight production, tight rhymes, tight music and a tight tale... never before was a recording like this made and never will it be made again ! ! ! This is performance, art, poetry, story telling, Jazz, funk and a tale with a moral taken to extremes...

A timeless tale of pimpin' that will never be out topped !

(P.S. Anybody remember who did that avant garde big band recording of Honkytonk Bud in the early '80s... ???)
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Format: Audio CD
This is a GREAT CD! I enjoy listening to just about every genre of music and this CD would be in my top favorites of any style. Lightnin' Rod, AKA Jalal Nuriddin, AKA Alafia Purdim, was a charter member of the Last Poets. This CD can be seen as proto-rap for its attention to street lingo and engagement with the ghetto underworld. Of course, all slang by nature changes rapidly, so some may find the rhyming corny. The first line of the album DOES start out with the single most notorius rhyme cliche: "moon - June", but the complete package of non-sampled music, toasting and interesting storyline makes for an irrestible listen. The story seems quaint compared to the much more violent 'modern' rap albums. If it's quaint, though, it's infinitately more believable, realistic and therefore more involving than the fantasy-based gangsta rap. I can't wait to see how well a lot of 'modern' rap ages when listened to 20 years from now; betcha nowhere near as well as this album does. Hustler's Convention features boasting raps over the cool beats of Eric Gale and Kool & the Gang. If it's actually in print when you read this, you'd be crazy not to pick up a copy.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Would have appreciated that the original liner notes with images and lyrics were included rather than single-sided printout of the cover.

The writing and performance holds up—happy to have my own copy.
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Hustler Convention was and is the most TRUTHFUL and straight to the point rap album ever. One of the last lines in the album/cd is "I learned the whole truth there". In my opinion this was put together when rap songs had true meanings and the performers were attempting to teach and bring the word to the masses. The pioneers of rap Lighting Rod, The Last Poets and others were opening our eyes to the Truth. I was a fan of Rap during the time this was on an album, before CD's and even have the original album. This album did not get the recognition it truly deserved. I try to play it for the youngsters who have never heard what rap was originally about and stood for. I am not saying that there aren't any true rappers today, because there are some that are quite good, but I feel they a too few and far in between. I give Hustlers Convention a 15 out of 10 stars
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I first read about "Hustler's Convention" nearly 20 years ago in Greil Marcus's book "Mystery Train." I finally received a copy through Amazon.com this week: it was worth the wait, but by the same token, why didn't I buy it sooner?! Having read Marcus's synopsis of the album, I knew what to expect in terms of its bleak story line and its connection to the Blaxploitation culture of the early 70s. I was unprepared, however, for the exhuberance of Lightnin' Rod's performance, as well as the tunefulness of Kool & the Gang's musical accompniment.

This is a classic album, and why it has not achieved the fame of contemporaries such as Sly and the Family Stone's "There's a Riot Goin' On," Stevie Wonder's "Innervisions," the O'Jays' "Back Stabbers," or Curtis Mayfield's soundtrack to "Superfly" is a mystery: it is every bit as good as these more celebrated albums, and it is distinct from all of them.

In terms of contemporary Black culture, "Hustler's Convention" is prophetic. It is a crucial link in the historical development of hip-hop culture, and many of the most compelling themes and techniques of rap music are presented here with astonishing force and clarity. The model for Tribe Called Quest, Digable Planets, Prince Paul, the Roots, Talib Kweli, and even Chris Rock is to be found on this record, which builds a bridge between the music of the past twenty years and the glorious tradition of George Clinton, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, and the great concept albums of late 60s rock music.

Anyone interested in African-American music of the last 30 years should seek this album out; I hope as well that a decent record label (Rhino Records: hello?!) will reissue this album and finally give it the distribution and visibility it deserves.

And all this is just my first impression, having heard the album once! I can't wait to play it again!!!
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