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C*LTURE: Gil Scott-Heron

Inspirational poet, musician, songwriter and novelist, Gil Scott-Heron.

Born in Chicago,1949, Gil Scott-Heron became a social and political messenger of the 1970s and 80s. His lyrical content focused on the turbulence and uncertainty of the times, he was committed to the liberation of Black people. 

Gil’s own term for himself was "bluesologist", he would define this as "a scientist who is concerned with the origin of the blues."His vocals are a combination of a rapping and melismatic style, which can be described as a chant like vocal. Many considered him to be the first rapper/MC ever.

Aged 13, he had written his first collection of poems, by 19 he had published his first novel, The Vulture; which themes include the devastating effects of drugs on urban black life. His second novel, The Nigger Factory is a statement on the way in which human beings are conditioned to think.

Gil has released more than 15 albums. In 1970 he released his first album, New Black Poet Small Talk at 125th and Lennox, then Pieces of Man (1971), Free Will (1972) and Winter in America (1974). The albums include legendary works such as “The Revolution Will Not be Televised,” “Home Is Where the Hatred Is,” “Lady Day and John Coltrane,” and “Whitey on the Moon.”

Gil passed in 2011 and will be remembered as a phenomenal street poet, community leader and political voice for the struggles of Black people in America. 

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