Aesthete guitar player worshiped by Jimi Hendrix, extraordinary falsetto singer revered by Prince, and a brilliant songwriter, Curtis Mayfield treated melodies as a master sculptor. His songs melded funk, gospel and soul together. Twenty years after his death, his politically charged music is still relevant and well-suited to describe America under Donald Trump.

In Fall of 1970, Curtis Mayfield, ex-leader of The Impressions, hit hard with the release of his album Curtis and first single (Don't Worry) If There's Hell Below, We're All Gonna Go. By then, Chicago native Curtis was 28 years old. He had managed to pull out his own version of What’s Going On, a year before the release of Marvin Gaye‘s masterpiece. Wah-wah guitars, violins and cellos, drums and percussion, the music was incredibly dense and sent an electroshock through the history of African American music. When the album came out, Curtis Mayfield already boasted a big reputation in the world of soul music. He had nothing to prove, striving only to mix his soulful voice with more contemporary arrangements and production.