Gil Scott-Heron Leaves a Voicemail for R. Kelly, February 3, 2002 

Michael Czyzniejewski

You will not hang up. You will not erase this message. You will not know who this is until it doesn't matter anymore, and when you do, you will not care. You will not forget what I've said because you will not stop thinking about it long enough to forget. You will not have that luxury. You will not have any luxury. The sun will not appear to shine in the morning and the night will not come fast enough. Your food will taste as filth and your drink will be dry as sand. Your clothes will not fit. Your air will not be fresh. The records you listen to and the books you read will no longer sound the same. Your accuser will not leave you alone. The police will not leave you alone. The press will not leave you alone. Your fans will not leave you alone, and neither will your wife, your mama, your ladyfriends, or your chauffeur. You will not admit that any of this happened, and I will not speculate about how much of it is true. You will not be sorry, anyway. You will not go on as if nothing happened, whether it did or didn't. Everyone will not believe you. You will not make the same mistake twice, be it these accusations or something else, something forgettable—leaving your socks on the bedroom floor, forgetting to put the milk in the refrigerator, forgetting where you came from and who gave you what you have. The artists who came before you will not like this. The artists who came before you will no longer claim you. The day that everyone forgets all this is so far away, you will not want to know what that date is. You will not always be relevant for what you want to be relevant for. You will not live this down. You will not listen to this entire message. You will not believe you can fly, because if you could, by all means, brother, you would.