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Gil Scott Heron



When i first got into Gil Scott Heron and asked my mom about him and “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” she vaguely remembered the song and thought i was mostly referring to Jill Scott. haha I’m a HUGE Gil Scott fan. He is the original Urban Griot. Equal parts Fela Kuti, Ol’ Dirty and Curtis Mayfield; Heron is the predeessor to rap, infusing funk, taditional african american and african rhythms and concepts into his music while exhibiting a certain urbanism.

I was excited to hear Gil put out another album this year. Over on Pitchfork there was a really insightful review of Gil and he is on their feb 5th Forkcast. The Track i listened to “New York is Killing Me” is stark and dubious, even through the hand clapping. His voice, his message; city living ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. When 24 years earlier he was decrying his love for and identification with,in the eponymous song, New York City. Not all Gils songs were bright and cheery, more like revolution tuned PSA’s but something in his voice was not the lively Gil i had plotted Diasporic Retribution with.

Heron was relatively unheard of through the 80’s and 90’s untill untill in 2001

[Heron] was sentenced to one to three years’ imprisonment in New York State for possession of cocaine. While out of jail in 2002, he appeared on the Blazing Arrow album by Blackalicious. He was released on parole in 2003. On July 5, 2006, Scott-Heron was sentenced to two to four years in a New York State prison for violating a plea deal on a drug-possession charge by leaving a drug rehabilitation center. Scott-Heron’s sentence was to run until July 13, 2009. He was paroled on May 23, 2007.[10] The reason given for the violation of his plea was that the clinic refused to supply Scott-Heron with HIV medication. This story led to the presumption that the artist is HIV positive

The 2000’s were not his decade either. But i am glad to see Gil in the recording booth. I too hope that he can step up and claim his crown as one of raps progenitors, founding fathers, innovators and influencers. He deserves it.

Pitchfork also has a full length review with past Gil Scott Heron songs. I strongly urge you to listen to all of them.

winter in america. his monologue is poetic.

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