This post is taking a dig at Americans for ignoring their own talent. Carl Hancock Rux has to be the most famous American that no one has ever heard of. The first track/video is his most listened to on Youtube and has a massive 51k views ...I mean ....errr ...wow ....not! It's probably the least like the rest of his repertoire as it starts off rather Hendrix-like but then these scrappy spoken word vocals come in and it is more poetry/roots/soul. It is certainly sounds like something from a different age but it is in some way quite contemporary too. Just after 2 minutes 6 always gets me as it rips at the emotions and contrasts both male and female ....less said and more listen so..
Rux has got one of lives that you could make a movie out of. He was conceived and born in a New York mental institution. His mother was a patient but it is not known whether his father was a patient or member of staff. He stayed with his grandmother but she drank herself to death when she was four. He then spent time in institutions, on the streets, with his great uncle. You'd think that after this inauspicious start to his life things would just get worse however he won a scholarship to an Ivy League prep school. He studied visual arts but eventually majored in music/voice. Mix in some writing/journalism and you have one hell of a mix. While at Columbia he helped found a gospel Choir and you can hear some of that gospel influence in the next track.
His life is now radically different as he mixes with The Nuyorcan Poets, experimental poets and does experimental theatre. His first anthology of poetry, Pagan Operetta won the Village voice literary prize. So far he's up to six books, nineteen plays, four albums and a couple of movies ....woooo now why haven't you heard of him? Learn some more about him on his web site.
This last track is very laid back , slightly jazzy and and different again to the first two.