Gil Scott-Heron

A week before Gil Scott-Heron's death on May 27 at 62, I recorded a guest vocal on a remix of his song "Third World Revolution." I was honored, of course. I first met Gil when we appeared on a CBS Morning News show in 1988. I'm typically quiet in the presence of royalty--musical or otherwise--so I just listened carefully that time and on the few occasions we got together after that.

Obviously, Gil's art, music and opinion formed a basis for rap music. His performances, with their ad-lib-lecture-poet-style commentary, were like his own onstage play-by-play. And though he didn't like to...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!