RIP Gil Scott-Heron
Gil Scott-Heron the “godfather of hip hop” passed away today at the age of 62.
From Wikipedia: Gil Scott-Heron (April 1, 1949 – May 27, 2011) was an American poet, musician, and author known primarily for his late 1970s and early 1980s work as a spoken word performer and his collaborative soul works with musician Brian Jackson. His collaborative efforts with Jackson featured a musical fusion of jazz, blues and soul music, as well as lyrical content concerning social and political issues of the time, delivered in both rapping and melismatic vocal styles by Scott-Heron. The music of these albums, most notably Pieces of a Man and Winter in America in the early 1970s, influenced and helped engender later African-American music genres such as hip hop and neo soul. Scott-Heron’s recording work is often associated with black militant activism and has received much critical acclaim for one of his most well-known compositions “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”. His poetic style has been influential upon every generation of hip hop since his popularity began. In addition to being widely considered an influence in today’s music, Scott-Heron remained active until his death, and in 2010 released his first new album in 16 years, entitled I’m New Here.
Here’s a great article about Gil Scott-Heron in the New Yorker.
Scott-Heron wrote “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” at around the age of 19 and it was first recorded for his 1970 album Small Talk at 125th and Lenox.