The Improbable Rap Career of Laura Nyro's Son

Harlem rapper Gil-T seeks glory by communing with his mother

Another patron is Nyro biographer and Ms. magazine senior editor Michele Kort, who met Gil more than seven years ago and was instantly mesmerized by his physicality and lyrical charisma. "He's just a very beautiful-looking young man, kind of soft-spoken and hip-hop in the sense that he has a definitive style," she says. "I remember, at one point, him doing a little rap, a little rhyming, and that was when I was most impressed."

The Laura Nyro Tribute Album ultimately isn't meant for the clubs. In time, Gil will revert back to his usual self: He's planning to shoot a "Paperchase" music video in New Jersey, complete with poolside models. He nonetheless aims to keep these two stylistic worlds separate, all too aware that his mother's champions, collaborators, and confidants might be conflicted about his music as well as his intention to mix his music with hers. He stresses that it isn't for everybody—but it could be.

"It's not like I'm limited to the kind of music I can make, you know?" he says. "I can write about anything, man, you know what I'm saying? I can write about this PS3 here . . . like, about this cup of coffee right here . . . so it's not like I have to stay in one lane. If anything, it's music. It should go out to everybody."

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