Heron had the power to distill moments in time down to a tune; in the case of "Washington D.C.," he encapsulated the social discrepancies of power, poverty, and race in the nation's capital in mid-summer. If someone were to bottle and sell D.C. in the 1970s, they would have a hard time doing better than the video for the track. The swelter and the languid atmosphere alongside Gil Scott's own variety of simple Stevie-Wonder soul is the perfect backdrop to casually mention how incomprehensible it is that one of the richest countries in the world can't seem to feed its own citizens. The winking tone makes the tough message go down all the more easily.
Purchase on iTunes: Gil Scott Heron / "Washington, D.C."
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