Saturday, May 28, 2011

Rest In Peace, Gil Scott-Heron

Gil Scott-Heron, one of my fave poets, musicians, 'bluesologist' and authors of the 70's and 80's died yesterday in New York at age 62 after becoming ill after returning from a European trip..

Scott-Heron is considered the 'Godfather of Rap' by some and many of the themes he explored in his music and poetry were expounded on later by Talib Kweli and Common   

In addition to his music which included songs such as Home Is Where The Hatred Is', 'Johannesburg', 'Angel Dust', 'Shut 'Um Down', 'We Almost Lost Detroit', 'Space Shuttle', 'Re-Ron',and 'B-Movie', he's best known for his 1970 spoken word piece 'The Revolution Will Not Be Televised'.

He broke down what he was talking about when he said 'The Revolution Will Not Be Televised' in a 1991 interview:.

"What that was all about, 'The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,' was that the first change that takes place is in your mind. You have to change your mind before you can change the way you live and the way you move. 

So, when we said that 'The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,' we were saying it like--that the thing that's going to change people is something that no one will ever be able to capture on film. It'll just be something that you see and all the sudden you'll realize: 'I'm on the wrong page,' or 'I'm on the right page but I'm on the wrong note--and I've got to get in synch with everyone else to understand what's happening in this country."

As you can tell by the song titles 'Re-Ron' and 'B-Movie', Scott-Heron was not a fan of Ronald Reagan or his conservafool policies.   He had his battles with drug addiction and the legal trouble it spawned over the last  two decades.   In February 2010 he released his first new studio album in sixteen entitled I'm New Here to critical acclaim.    

But there is no denying that Gil Scott Heron's work influenced rap and neo soul artists and even a certain trans blogger from H-town.       

Rest in power and peace brother Gil.   You will be missed.

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