In 1970, Gil Scott-Heron became one of the godfathers of hip-hop with the release of his debut album, Small Talk at 125th & Lenox. His playful wit and incisive rhetoric developed more fully on later releases such as Pieces of a Man and Winter in America, establishing him as a counterculture icon. Mostly a spoken-word poet, Scott-Heron incorporates elements of jazz, the blues, folk and soul into his songwriting. Influenced by such artists as Langston Hughes, Otis Redding and Richie Havens, Scott-Heron exposes the hypocrisies of the oppressive elements of our society through his work. But, also like his influences, he beautifully articulates the dreams, hopes and aspirations of the disaffected with imagination and humor. The revolution may not be televised, but seeing Scott-Heron live may make you think it's still possible.
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