Gil Scott Heron Essay

1415 Words Mar 26th, 2014 6 Pages
Gil Scott Heron
BHSECQ - Rahat
Today, rap music is an ever growing genre of music that is often centered on hedonistic pursuits such as wealth, cars, drinks, and fame. About forty years ago, however, rap music focused on an entirely different subject matter. During the 1970s, African Americans sung rap songs to express the need for Black empowerment in society; though their form of singing was not called rapping back then, it was called spoken word poetry, a form of song in which verses of poetry were performed with a fixed beat before an audience. African Americans used this style of singing to express the discontent with the economics and politics during the 1970s. The black population was still economically and politically powerless
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You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out…”
In the second verse he makes references to several influential political figures at the time who played their parts in limiting the exposure given to African American integration attempts.
“…The revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon blowing a bugle and leading a charge by John
Mitchell, General Abrams and Spiro Agnew to eat hog maws confiscated from a Harlem sanctuary…”
In particular Scott Heron focuses on President Richard Nixon, the 37th president of the United States; John Mitchell, the Attorney General under President Nixon; Creighton Williams Abrams Jr., who was a general of military operations for the Vietnam War; and Spiro Agnew, who was the vice president at the time for Richard Nixon. The image in his lyrics describes how the President would not lead these influential men to eat hog maws, which is a traditional soul food in African American and South-East American cuisine. In particular this reference can be attributed to influential leaders at the time slowly approaching the topic of integration only when it was necessary. Though Richard Nixon took the first steps to start desegregation in the south it was a long

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