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It’s a shame when the legacy of Bill Hicks gets mired in an imposed iconography of cigarettes and dick jokes; beyond his patchy beard and professor glasses was one of the great existentialists, one of the great moralists of the last century—and you don’t have to dig terribly deep in his humor to find it.

Sure, it sounds like I’m trying to consecrate the guy with hyperbole—like so many do—but sometimes you just have to call a prophet a prophet. After slipping on a banana peel and landing face first in political/religious/social enlightenment, he found himself leagues beyond Lenny Bruce or Sam Kinison, spitting heady, profound truth in succinct nuggets made digestible by a vitriolic wit. If you ask me, his posthumously released album “Rant in E-Minor” is just as necessary for a proper coming-of-age as “The People’s History of the United States” or “Siddhartha.”

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Thank God the man’s legacy was committed to a proper cinematic treatment.