Gil Scott-Heron died on May 27 at the age of 62. He died in New York City. The cause of death has not yet been released.
Many credit Scott-Heron for inventing the rap genre (an attribution he himself denies), likely because he was indeed the first well-known singer to rap. Below are his 5 top songs, which showcase the rap genre in its earliest form.
1. The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
Scott-Heron’s blockbuster hit and defining piece of work. It criticized the incipient commercialism that began to dominate the American media and society.
2. Whitey on the Moon
Scott-Heron details the poverty of African-Americans and contrasted that to the billions the US government spent on its space program to put someone on the moon.
3. The Bottle
Scott-Heron laments on the detrimental influence of alcohol abuse, especially on the Africa-American community.
4. On Coming from a Broken Home
A song from Scott-Heron’s ‘comeback’ album in 2010. He pays tribute to the important role female relatives played in his life.
5. Rivers of My Fathers
A song that explores the cultural roots of African-Americans.