Lost links & Re-ups

On any post, if the link is no longer good, leave a comment if you want the music re-uploaded. As long as I still have the file, or the record, cd, or cassette to re-rip, I will gladly accommodate in a timely manner all such requests.

Slinging tuneage like some fried or otherwise soused short-order cook

02 March 2014

Last of the Last

On a somber note: 
June 4, 2018 - Jalal Mansur Nuriddin of The Last Poets passed away at age 74. 

Once I start in posting On-U Sound, I want everyone to hear everything. This one is quite unique even for On-U, but Sherwood was always an impeccable producer. This is an EP from Jalal called Mankind.

Jalal is Jalaluddin Mansur Nuriddin, the self-proclaimed ‘Grandfather of Rap’ & the last of the Last Poets. His musical path crossed that of Adrian Sherwood in the early 1990s.

According to musical legend, the South African poet Little Willie Kgositile arrived in New York in 1968. There he joined the Harlem based Black Writer's Workshop called the East Wind, located in Harlem. Little Willie, who had fled from the racist apartheid regime of his homeland, had written a poem in which he said:

     "[This was] ...the last age of essays and poems, and that guns and rifles, would take there place, so therefore, we are the last poets of this age."

The members of the workshop concurred that they were figuratively these ‘last poets’ & though Little Willie left shortly after, the remainder became wordsmiths & hammered out the feelings of their people, eventually all oppressed people in the world, into the shape & scope of the struggle between despair & hope. In the beginning, The Last Poets consisted of Gylain Kain, Abiodun Oyewole, David Nelson, Felipe Luciano, Omar Bin Hassan (whom I have featured before), Jalal Nuriddin & Suleiman El-Hadi.

Due to conflicts in style & content, they performed in various combinations with each other, or not at all, until such time as a suitable cohesive lasting unit could knit together, in complementation as opposed to competition. So it was that Jalal & Suleiman emerged as rhyme partners honing their art form into a vehicle of total expression, which is today called rap & hip-hop. However, it had nothing to do with what those genres have become today. It was not about committing crimes & selling drugs or who had the biggest dick or gun. It was about striving to rise above the oppression that is stifling equality & perpetuating racism.

Jalal, under the name Lightnin’ Rod, released his first rap record Doriella du Fontaine in 1984. This is a fantastic studio jam session by Jimi Hendrix & Buddy Miles (of Band of Gypsys) recorded in 1969. Lighnin' Rod a few years later dubbed a cool rap over it with the help of Bill Laswell. I have included the title song here.

For 24 years Jalal & Suleiman developed their science of making sense out of non-sense until Suleiman passed away on October 3, 1995. They were the first rap group to be acclaimed by the music-loving public. They went on to sell a million records by word of mouth. But they were never acknowledged by the recording industry, who sold their records on the down-low, without the benefit of advertising or promotion or royalties to the artists.

Jalal's collaboration with Adrian Sherwood around 1993-5 came about through the Skip McDonald connection. McDonald had been one of the leaders of the Sugar Hill sound before crossing the pond & hooking up with Sherwood. Jalal, always somewhat of a critical & demanding performer, insured that the association with Sherwood was bound to be short-lived but that union lasted long enough for the Mankind 10" single (the first fours songs of the CD – “Trancendental Twins” appears only on this German CD release – both 1993) & On the One, a full length album (with original material other than all parts of “Shade of the Light” as “In the Shade of the Light” – recorded in 1995 & released the following year) had been committed to wax.

Many of Sherwood’s key players are on board here to assist Jalal – vocals: Skip McDonald – guitar; Doug Wimbish – bass; & Style Scott - drums.

Jalal – Mankind EP, On-U Sound EFA 07480-09, 1993.
decryption codes in comments

Tracklist –
Mankind (Part 1)
Mankind (Part 2)
Shade of the Light (Part 1 & 2)
Shade of the Light (Part 3)
Transcendental Twins



  1. Doriella

  2. Hey, Nathan! I haven't been in touch for awhile, but I really appreciate you sharing this and the Fats Comet stuff. You posted a Little Axe album a long time ago, and that led me to acquire all of Skip's records. He has become one of my most favorite musical artists. I love the On-U stuff, old and new. Would you happen to have the last Singers & Players album, Vacuum Pumping? It is hard to find. Keith LeBlanc's "Malcolm X No Sell Out" single is another one that has eluded me. He ended up collaborating with Marshall Chess again (with the help of Skip McDonald and Doug Wimbish) on an album called Chess Moves that was kind of disappointing.

    1. Can't really express how glad I am to hear from you again. Sent you an email.