Spoken word artist Gil Scott-Heron passed yesterday. The famous political poet was an inspiration to many artists and in a lot of ways was the grandfather of conscious hip-hop. He influenced so many artists, from Public Enemy, to Kanye West. AZ even named his second album after Gil’s 1971 album. On last years “I’m New Here” Gil Scott-Heron does poetry over Kanye’s “Flashing Lights” One of my favorite albums of last year.
While Gil will be known most widely for “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” there were other songs in his catalogue that don’t receive the attention they deserve. “Home Is Where the Hatred Is” is amongst one of Gil’s deepest songs. As I cycle through some of his other material, some from my hard drive and Youtube, and its just immense. There isn’t enough I can say about Gil, that can speak to the depth of all the music he left behind. I can say that I am so grateful that I have seen him live in person on more than one occasion. The last time I saw him was at the concert last summer in Marcus Garvey Park in West Harlem. He put on a great show.
I encourage everyone who may not have to check out “Small Talk on 125th and Lenox” his very first album. 4 decades later, the influence is still strong. Gil was one of those few artists, while a little bit before my time, I really felt. Rest in Peace, Gil.
Marc W. Polite
P.S. I always did want to learn how to play the flute like the guy in “The Bottle” video.. oh well.