“The voice of the people,” Gil Scott-Heron is most famous for his spoken word pieces “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” and “Whitey On The Moon.” His fiery street poetry was unapologetically political, tackling issues such as racism, poverty, drugs, and policing. His work would inspire socially-conscience hip hop artists. He could legitimately be called "The Godfather of Rap."
Gil Scott-Heron started writing early. He completed his first volume of poetry at age 13 and published his novel, The Vulture, a year after dropping out of college.
He was encouraged to begin recording by the legendary jazz producer Bob Thiele. His work was not limited to political themes. Over the course of his decades-long career, he created R&B and jazz-inspired pieces that dealt with issues such as fatherhood and romantic love.
You explained it to me, I must admit, but just
For the record, you were talking shit
— No Knock, 1972
The duo brought Black artistry to the American stage.
Singer, actor, athlete, lawyer, activist, Renaissance man.
The term covers subgenres like hard bop and free jazz.
Black music finely crafted and packaged for the masses.
The sound of young America masterminded by Berry Gordy.
Combines rhythm & blues and gospel music styles.
Soul gets high.
Rock loses the roll but gains amplitude and attitude.