Poet/Musician Gil Scott-Heron dies: “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”

(excerpt from) LA Times
Gil Scott-Heron dies; influential poet/musician helped inspire rap

Gil Scott-Heron, whose late 1960s and early ’70s poetry set to rhythmic jazz music, especially “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” was one of the most important and obvious inspirations for rap music, has died, according to his British publisher…

Ron Carter, who played on “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” described Scott-Heron’s allure: “He wasn’t a great singer, but with that voice, if he had whispered it would have been dynamic. It was a voice like you would have for Shakespeare.”

…Rapper Chuck D. discusses the role Scott-Heron played in the birth of rap: “You can go into the beat poets and [Allen] Ginsberg and [Bob] Dylan, but Gil Scott-Heron is the manifestation of the modern world. He and the Last Poets set the stage for everyone else. In what way necessary? Well, if you try and make pancakes and you ain’t got the water, the milk or the eggs, you’re trying to do something you can’t. In combining music with the word, from the voice on down, you follow the template he laid out. His rapping is rhythmic. Some of it’s songs. It’s punchy, and all those qualities are still used today.”…

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