Gil Scott-Heron

Thanks to Rock & Rap Confidential for this notification.

Great clip for “The Bottle” here

May 27, 2011
Gil Scott-Heron, Spoken-Word Musician, Dies at 62


NEW YORK (AP) — Musician Gil Scott-Heron, who helped lay the groundwork
for rap by fusing minimalistic percussion, political expression and
spoken-word poetry on songs such as “The Revolution Will Not Be
Televised,” died Friday at age 62.

A friend, Doris C. Nolan, who answered the telephone listed for his
Manhattan recording company, said he died in the afternoon at St. Luke’s
Hospital after becoming sick upon returning from a European trip.

“We’re all sort of shattered,” she said.

Scott-Heron’s influence on rap was such that he sometimes was referred
to as the Godfather of Rap, a title he rejected.

“If there was any individual initiative that I was responsible for it
might have been that there was music in certain poems of mine, with
complete progression and repeating ‘hooks,’ which made them more like
songs than just recitations with percussion,” he wrote in the
introduction to his 1990 collection of poems, “Now and Then.”

He referred to his signature mix of percussion, politics and performed
poetry as bluesology or Third World music. But then he said it was
simply “black music or black American music.”

“Because Black Americans are now a tremendously diverse essence of all
the places we’ve come from and the music and rhythms we brought with
us,” he wrote.

Nevertheless, his influence on generations of rappers has been
demonstrated through sampling of his recordings by artists, including
Kanye West.

Scott-Heron recorded the song that would make him famous, “The
Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” which critiqued mass media, for the
album “125th and Lenox” in Harlem in the 1970s. He followed up that
recording with more than a dozen albums, initially collaborating with
musician Brian Jackson. His most recent album was “I’m New Here,” which
he began recording in 2007 and was released in 2010.

Throughout his musical career, he took on political issues of his time,
including apartheid in South Africa and nuclear arms. He had been shaped
by the politics of the 1960s and the black literature, especially of the
Harlem Renaissance.

Scott-Heron was born in Chicago on April 1, 1949. He was raised in
Jackson, Tenn., and in New York before attending college at Lincoln
University in Pennsylvania.

Before turning to music, he was a novelist, at age 19, with the
publication of “The Vulture,” a murder mystery.

He also was the author of “The Nigger Factory,” a social satire.


One Response to “Gil Scott-Heron”

  1. Stephen Says:

    Listen, as soon as you can, to “New York is Killing Me,” from his final album:

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