Scott-Heron, Gil

Scott-Heron, Gil,

1949–2011, American poet, musician, and songwriter, b. Chicago. Often considered "the godfather of rap musicrap music
or hip-hop,
genre originating in the mid-1970s among black and Hispanic performers in New York City, at first associated with an athletic style of dancing, known as breakdancing.
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," he rejected that title, preferring to call his work "bluesology" of simply "black American music." He wrote poetry with a strong social, political, and racial content, which he spoke or sang to a strong percussive beat or other jazz or soul accompaniment. Scott-Heron became famous for his satiric spoken anthem "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" (1970), which made him a spokesman for African-American protest. He recorded more than a dozen albums, from Small Talk at 125th and Lenox (1970) to I'm New Here (2010); his clear, youthful voice roughened in later recordings due to alcoholism and drug addiction. Among his other well-known pieces are "Lady Day and John Coltrane," "The Bottle," "Home Is Where the Hatred Is," and "Johannesburg."


See his memoir (2012).