Gil Scott-Heron, a recording artist renown for infusing biting political critiques into spoken-word poetry in songs such as “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” died May 27 at age 62, The Associated Press reports. Although his cause of death was not immediately reported, Scott-Heron openly struggled with drug addiction for much of his adult life. In 2008, he told New York magazine that he had been living with HIV for years. Scott-Heron recorded 12 albums. He rejected the title “Godfather of Rap,” but his music is considered a precursor to hip-hop, and contemporary rappers have remixed his lyrics into their songs. He began his career as a novelist and poet, then developed a signature blend of percussion and polemical poetry that he called “black music or black American music.” He often referred to himself as a “bluesologist,” someone who drew from blues, jazz and Harlem Renaissance poetics.

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