Toward the end of Resurrection, the documentary about Tupac Shakur, there is a striking quote. Normally I’d Google it and pull it word-for-word, but I’m not going to. It went something like: “I may not change the world, but I guarantee I will spark the mind of someone that will change the world.” It’s a quote, or better, an idea, that has always stuck with me.

I can’t pretend like Gil Scott-Heron changed my life. In all honesty, until his 2010 album I’m New Here, I was barely familiar. But through his words, ideas, and actions, he sparked the minds of so many people that ended up influencing me. In that way, Gil Scott-Heron changed my life. I’m sad to hear that he died today. He was 62 years old.