Across 135th Street

Taharqa Aleem

60 minsFirst aired 19 Jun 2018
Maxwell Schiano

Chairman Mao welcomes Aleem’s Taharqa Aleem to talk collaborations with Jimi Hendrix and Harlem’s nascent hip-hop and dance music scenes.

Few can boast the musical experiences of Taharqa Aleem. Raised in Harlem in its heyday as a cultural and creative mecca, Taharqa, along with twin brother Tunde Ra, befriended Jimi Hendrix in the late 1960s. Under the name the Ghetto Fighters, the siblings would collaborate with the guitar legend on favorites like “Freedom” and “Dolly Dagger.” But the Aleems truly made their mark as songwriters and producers at the dawn of New York’s classic dance music era — their independent label, Nia Records, self-released such essential club tracks as “Hooked On Your Love” and “Release Yourself” with Leroy Burgess, and hip-hop gems by Marley Marl, the Super Kids and Sparky D. Joining Jefferson “Chairman” Mao on the latest installment of Across 135th Street, Taharqa revisits a few of the episodes of his most storied life and career as a self-described Ghetto Fighter in Harlem World.


Produced by Harley Brown
Engineered by Mike Bloom

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