The Revolution Will Not be Televised

Gil Scott-Heron


The title has been co-opted by too many lazy copy editors to convey anything remotely resembling revolution, but don’t let cliches get in the way of appreciating the marvellousness of this song. For me, its astute critique of its times, especially the media and vapid celebrity culture, remains as relevant as ever.

The song’s clever wordplay doesn’t spare anything as it heaps scorn on consumerism, authority, and the establishment. The song masquerades as a call to arms, bristling with snarky optimism. Hip hop stars NWA, Tupac, and Kendrick Lamar have this song to thank for birthing their genre. Gil Scott-Heron’s effortless vocals, laid on top of a funky bassline, will make you want to groove.