Gylan Kain is an American poet and playwright. He is a founding member, in 1968, of the Original Last Poets (along with Felipe Luciano and David Nelson). He is known for creating the aggressive, rhythmic delivery of spoken word aka performance poetry as it is known today. He often performs with hand drums or backing musicians such as saxophonists and bass guitarists. His work has often been sampled without pre-consent by well-known artists including Dr. Dre and The Prodigy. One of his performances was sampled into the club hit Voodoo People by The Prodigy. Dr. Dre sampled an excerpt of Kain performing his poem, "The Shalimar" on Dre's track entitled "Intro" from the album entitled "The Chronic." After legal action was successfully taken to procure compensation for work sampled by The Prodigy, spokespersons for The Prodigy claimed that efforts had been made to procure permission from Kain for use of his work but those efforts had been unsuccessful because Kain, who values privacy, could not be located in time. Dr. Dre has yet to compensate Kain for work sampled without prior consent. This has led some fans to criticize Dr. Dre as an hypocrite for exploiting the work of an influential Black artist after building a reputation as an empowering force in the black American community as a founding member of N.W.A.
Kain has done multimedia collaborations with the percussionist Z'EV and has appeared with the Dutch jazz/hip-hop/fusion group Electric Barbarian, appearing on their 2004 album él. He is also the subject of several documentary films. His name is sometimes given as simply KAIN or Kain. His daughter, Amber Kain, is an actress.
- 1970 - KAIN: The Blue Guerrilla.
- 1997 - Baby Kain: Feel This.
- 2004 - Electric Barbarian: él.
- 1971 - Right On!: Poetry on Film (Original Last Poets). Directed by Herbert Danska.
- 1990 - Wings of Fame. Directed by Otakar Votocek.
- MP3 of "X-Cuse Me!" by Electric Barbarian featuring KAIN (click to listen)
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