The life of Sixto Rodriguez (pronounced 'see-toh') is alike two sides of the same coin.
He grew up in Detroit, as the son of two working class immigrants. He released two albums from 1970-71 which were not commercially viable domestically, and he was thus dropped from the now defunct Sussex Records.
This is where the coin gets flipped. Tails is giving up and working manual labor jobs, staying just above the poverty line. Tails is caring for the plight of the inner city poor, and running for city council in 1989. Tails is the county spelling your name wrong on the ballot.
But the other side of the coin takes place in another part of the world. Heads is rising to fame in South Africa, where he became a figurehead of the Anti-Apartheid movement,and having no idea about whatsoever. Heads is being compared to Bob Dylan. Heads is being rumored to have committed suicide on stage and becoming a legendary figure in South African culture. Heads is having a critically acclaimed documentary about yourself.
The sides blur as Rodriguez (his recording name) learned about his fame in 1998 when his daughter found a website dedicated to her father. He returned to South Africa to gain what was rightfully his, and a documentary was made about his journey back. He soon gained notoriety in his home country after the documentary went on to win many film festival awards. Today, at 70 years old, he finally returned to the studio after a 42 year absence. He's been touring, and more importantly, writing again.
His cyncial, sarcastic songs are quick to jeer at life via metaphor and story telling. His voice is not dynamic, but it fits the simplicity and rawness of his recordings perfectly. Bob Dylan is ginger beer compared to the acid Rodriguez can throw. A heavy influence by the urban life of Detroit, which he calls "the only city in America with no view", creates a voice for both the inner city poor and those looking for quality half the world away.