Scott-Heron, Gil, 1949–2011, American poet, musician, and songwriter, b. Chicago. Often considered
the godfather of rap music,he rejected that title, preferring to call his work
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,
Home Is Where the Hatred Is,and
See his memoir (2012).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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