As part of its eulogy, Rolling Stone has linked a Telegraph interview where Gil Scott-Heron casts speculation on his most famous work.
“I learnt early on that your audience take the songs in the way they want to rather than the way you might want them to,” he said in February. “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised – that was satire. People would try and argue that it was this militant message, but just how militant can you really be when you’re saying, 'The revolution will not make you look five pounds thinner’?”
Regardless of how serious Scott-Heron intended to be, the legendary East Coast poet inspired generations of revolutionary-minded individuals through his music. The schism between material and mental satisfaction remains a central dilemma of the human species. Now he’s died in the crucible of revolution, as the Arab Spring unfolds in high-definition across the digital spectrum. Scott-Heron’s personal message may have reached as few ears as it did in 1970, but the spirit of revolution finally erupted in a global shift in consciousness.
This force will be resisted so long as it seeks to overturn the status quo. However the revolution will not stopped being televised either. It’s on 24 hours a day.