Gil Scott-Heron, poet and musician, has died at 62. A Harlem resident and neighbor who resided on East 112th street who was considered by many as the Godfather of Rap. He died on May 27, 2011 on Friday afternoon in New York. He became sick after a European trip. Credited with being one of the progenitors of hip hop, and is best known for the spoken-word piece “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.” Like many other music greats he struggled with substance abuse but continued to share his music and talent throughout the years. One of his recent projects “I’m New Here” released in February 2010 was received with much critical acclaim. http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/im-new-here-bonus-track-version/id351170362
Here is an excerpt from a video clip of Gil-Scott in his own words…. (from Racialicious by Arturo on May 28, 2011)
“The catchphrase, what that was all about, ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,’ that was about the fact that the first change that takes place is in your mind. You have to change your mind before you change the way you live and the way you move. So when we said that ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,’ we were saying that the thing that’s gonna change people is something that no one will ever be able to capture on film. It will just be something that you see, and all of a sudden you realize I’m on the wrong page, or I’m on the right page but I’m on the wrong note, and I’ve got to get in sync with everyone else to understand what’s happening in this country.
But I think that the Black Americans have been the only die-hard Americans here, because we’re the only ones who carried the process through the process that everyone else has to sort of skip stages. We’re the ones who march, we’re the ones who carry the Bible, we’re the ones who carry the flag, we’re the ones who have to go through the courts, and being born American didn’t seem to matter, because we were born American, but we still had to fight for what we were looking for, and we still had to go through those channels and those processes.”
– Mediaburn, 1991
Rest in Peace. Gil Scott-Heron will be missed.