Keorapetse Kgositsile, former South African poet, activist and father to Earl Sweatshirt has passed away at the age of 79, according to South Africa’s SABC. Kgositsile was an influential member of the African National Congress in the 1960s and 1970s and was inaugurated as South Africa’s National Poet Laureate in 2006.
Kgositsile lived in exile in the United States from 1962 until 1975. During that time, he was amongst the first to bridge the gap between African poetry and African-American poetry.
According to Pitchfork, however, Kgositsile had a strained relationship with his son. He once claimed that he has not listenened to Earl’s music. “When he feels that he’s got something to share with me, he’ll do that,” he told The New Yorker. “And until then I will not impose myself on him just because the world talks of him.” Earl mentioned his father in songs like “Blade,” “ Burgundy,” “Grown Ups,” “Off Top,” and “Chum.”