And so today, we awoke to the sad news that Gil Scott-Heron had departed this earth, aged 62. His influence on the music world is, of course, far-reaching – with Gil often described as the ‘Godfather of Hip-hop’ (a term he apparently rejected).
Gil was a poet and social commentator, funk soul brother, and all-round cultural phenom. ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’, probably his most well-known song, critiqued the mass media as it was evolving in the 1970s – cementing his place as an agent of change. He had a string of influential albums in the 1970s but struggled with drug problems throughout his life. This led to a period of incarceration, before his release and the delivery of the widely acclaimed ‘I’m New Here’ in 2010.
Many of the DJs from the early days who I look up to, rate Scott-Heron as one of their most important influences – not only for his music but for his mindset. Although his life has come to an end, his spirit lives on and grows.
I’m going to post ‘It’s Your World’. Listen to the build up at the end of the song and tell me you don’t get goosebumps!
Rest in Peace, Gil.