"I didn't watch the whole thing—I know what state the union's in," says Gil Scott-Heron, sizing up his reflection in his living room's enormous TV—it's half the size of the wall, glossy, and incongruous in the 60-year-old's small, cluttered Harlem apartment. He doesn't see so well, he explains, returning to the couch; gripping a fresh cigarette lit precariously from the stove (as always), he'll nearly reach the filter by the time he's done dissecting Obama's recent address in a casually dexterous solo that weaves through 20 years of Shiite-Sunni population percentages, U.N. resolutions, and Bush I policy betrayals without pause. And the point, he's insisting avidly—not just to me, never for a minute—is to give the man time to fix these propellant forces. Solutions don't appear overnight. Not in one year,... More >>>