Monday, June 13, 2011

Gil Scott-Heron (April 1, 1949-May 27, 2011)

Gil Scott Heron known for his spoken word,  passed away on May 27, 2011.
The songs that Gill Scott Heron sung about were social and political songs of the 1970s and 1980s. One of the songs I remember is “The Bottle” my parents would play that song often that was one of my favorites. The people who influenced Gill Scott Heron were singers and political activists Richie Havens, John Coltrane, Otis Redding, Jose Feliciano, Billie Holiday, Langston Hughes Malcolm X, Huey Newton, Nina Simone and pianist Brian Jackson. Gill Scott Heron was known in many circles as the Godfather of rap and as one of founding fathers. He is also considered the founder of political rap. The song “Message to the Messengers” was a plea for the new generation of rappers to speak for change and not to spread the current social situation. In 1990s Gil Scott Heron said in an interview, “They need to study music. I played in several bands before I began my career as a poet. There’s a big difference between putting words over some music, and blending those same words into the music. There’s not a lot of humor. They use a lot of slang and colloquialisms, and you don’t really see inside the person. Instead, you just get a lot or posturing.” I think he is so right, some of these rappers are singing about cars woman or talking mess about each other saying nothing relevant about today’s issues. Three of my favorite rappers who rap about social political issues are Chuck D from Public Enemy, Ermine and Lupe Fiasco. In his later years Gill Scott heron had some issues with drugs and the law. From 2001 to 2007 he was sentenced to one to three years for possession of cocaine in New York and violating his parole. Gil Scott Heron disclosed in an interview with the New York Magazine in 2008 that he was HIV positive, but the cause of his death has not been announced. Gill Scott Heron was a Poet, Musician and Author he had a unique voice and will be missed.


No comments:

Post a Comment