Malik & The O.G's - The Hustlers Convention Live
Malik & the O.G’s 7.30pm @ The Jazz cafe: Mon 10h Feb 2014
Liverpool poet and music producer Malik Al Nasir has teamed up with some heavy hitters in the music world, to showcase his poetry and songs at the 40th Anniversary performance of the iconic “Hustlers Convention” at London’s Jazz Café on 10th Feb 2014, MC’d by none other than Poet Lemn Sissay.
Malik’s work is reminiscent of his mentors and lifelong friends, the late great Gil Scott Heron, & Last Poet - Jalal Nuriddin - a.k.a “Lightnin’ Rod’ who schooled Malik ever since meeting them both in Liverpool back in 1980’s.
Malik spent years touring with Gil and also had the great privilege to write a song for him before he died. Gil recorded the song called ‘Black & Blue’ which features on Malik & the O.G’s as yet unreleased double album, entitled “Rhythms of the Diaspora Vol 1.” If that wasn’t enough of an accolade for an aspiring revolutionary black poet, how about this? Jalal actually wrote a poem about his encounters with Malik called “Malik’s Mode” which features on “Rhythms of the Diaspora Vol 2.” Whilst the Last Poets & Gil Scott Heron, referred to as The Grandfather & Godfathers of RAP respectively, have been sampled to death by the likes of Kanye West, Common, Talib Kwale, Public Enemy and more, few if any, can claim to have been both schooled under their very hands with the recordings to prove it. This put’s Malik in a category all by himself.
Malik’s repertoire with his band “The O.G’s” features a tribute to Richie Havens, the black folk music legend, who opened Woodstock in 1969 with the song “Freedom – Motherless Child” which has been covered by Paul Robeson, Eric Clapton and more recently John Legend, but ‘Malik & the OG’s’ take on it has a twist, blending spoken word verses (à la Gil Scott Heron), with the sweet vocals of Jazz Warriors Cleveland Watkiss and Chantel Nandi.
Malik described his work, as “A quiet revolution” saying, “Poetry and music can be a force for good and revolution is nothing but change that should bring benefits. So when you combine revolution and poetry and set it to music, you can make people think how to make a change that is beneficial.”
“Malik & the OG’s” drummer is Washington DC’s “Rod Youngs” described by Gil Scott Heron as “The Backbone of the Rhythm Section” of Gil’s awesome band “The Amnesia Express”. The O.G’s Musical Director, is none other than Jazz vibraphonist and classical composer “Orphy Robinson” known for everything from scoring a classical piece at the BBC Proms, to a duet with Jazz legend Don Cherry and more recently conducting Andy Sheppard’s "Saxophone Massive" at the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. Guitar is supplied amply by Tony Remy (Jack Bruce Blues Band).
Malik & the OG’s perform an innovative set, utilising an eclectic blend of musical and vocal elements, with a politically charged poetic polemic that we haven’t seen in the UK since Billy Bragg, Linton Kwesi Johnson and John Cooper Clarke.