We lost the iconic, irreplaceable Gil Scott-Heron yesterday. Bluesologist, poet and recording artist Gil Scott-Heron revolutionized culture with his influence on hip-hop and many say he ushered in rap music, though he wryly said he didn’t think he deserved the “blame” for rap. The multi-talented Gil started his career as a writer, publishing his first book at 19, “The Vulture”. His first album, “New Black Poet: Small Talk at 125th and Lennox” started an activist revolution so important that he became known as a socio-political commentator, responsible for activating a left African American movement in the 70’s.
Gil Scott-Heron: “I consider myself neither poet, composer, nor musician. These are merely tools used by sensitive men to carve out a piece of beauty or truth they hope may lead to peace and salvation.”
He’s famous for the song “The Revolution Won’t Be Televised” from his first album, “New Black Poet: Small Talk at 125th and Lennox”, but you would be missing out if you didn’t listen to more of his music. So, in honor of Gil’s tremendous contributions to our culture, here are a few of my favorites:
“We Almost Lost Detroit”
“The Revolution Won’t Be Televised”:
And from this year, “I’m New Here”:
RIP, Gil. Our world is better because you were in it.
“The revolution will not be televised. The revolution will not be brought to you by the Schaefer Award Theater and will not star Natalie Wood and Steve McQueen or Bullwinkle and Julia. The revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal. The revolution will not get rid of the nubs. The revolution will not make you look five pounds thinner, because the revolution will not be televised, brother.”