Gil Scott-Heron  

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Gil Scott-Heron (April 1, 1949 – May 27, 2011) was an American poet and musician known primarily for his late 1960s and early 1970s work as a spoken word performer. He is associated with African American militant activism, and is best known for his poem and song "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" as well as "The Bottle". He is the son of Jamaican footballer Gil Heron, who was one of the first black professionals to play in the UK.

Contents

Influence

The music of Scott-Heron's work during the 1970s influenced and helped engender later African-American music genres such as hip hop and neo soul. He has been described by music writers as "the godfather of rap" and "the black Bob Dylan". On his influence, a music writer later noted that "Scott-Heron's unique proto-rap style influenced a generation of hip-hop artists". The Washington Post wrote that "Scott-Heron's work presaged not only conscious rap and poetry slams, but also acid jazz, particularly during his rewarding collaboration with composer-keyboardist-flutist Brian Jackson in the mid- and late '70s." Sean O'Hagan of the The Observer discussed the significance of Scott-Heron's music with Brian Jackson, stating:

Together throughout the 1970s, Scott-Heron and Jackson made music that reflected the turbulence, uncertainty and increasing pessimism of the times, merging the soul and jazz traditions and drawing on an oral poetry tradition that reached back to the blues and forward to hip-hop. The music sounded by turns angry, defiant and regretful while Scott-Heron's lyrics possessed a satirical edge that set them apart from the militant soul of contemporaries such as Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield.

Scott-Heron's influence over hip-hop is primarily exemplified by his definitive single "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised," sentiments from which have been explored by various rappers, including Aesop Rock, Talib Kweli and Common. In addition to his vocal style, Scott-Heron's indirect contributions to rap music extend to his and co-producer Brian Jackson's compositions, which have been sampled by various hip-hop artists; among the most notable is rapper/producer Kanye West, who has sampled Scott-Heron and Jackson's "Home is Where the Hatred Is" and "We Almost Lost Detroit" for his song "My Way Home" and the single "The People," respectively, both of which are collaborative efforts between West and Common. Scott-Heron, in turn, has acknowledged West's contributions, sampling the latter's 2007 single "Flashing Lights" on his latest album, 2010's I'm New Here. West has gone on to name Gil Scott-Heron, among others, as a major influence on his own latest offering, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, where portions of his work "Comment #1" appear on the album. "We Almost Lost Detroit" has also been sampled by Brand Nubian member Grand Puba ("Keep On"), Native Tongues duo Black Star ("Brown Skin Lady"), and underground notable MF DOOM ("Camphor"). Furthermore, Black Star MC Mos Def has sampled Scott-Heron's "A Legend in His Own Mind" on the Q-Tip-featuring song "Mr. Nigga," and producer Dr. Dre (some of whose early G-Funk compositions mirror Scott-Heron's musical style in both texture and sentiment, specifically "Lil' Ghetto Boy," which in fact samples Scott-Heron contemporary Donny Hathaway) recorded the song "Blunt Time," on which former Death Row Records rapper RBX interpolates the opening lyrics from Scott-Heron's recording "Angel Dust." In 2000, CeCe Peniston as well used a sample of a Heron's song ("The Bottle") while recording her single "My Boo".

Discography

Studio albums

Year Album Label
1970 Small Talk at 125th and Lenox Flying Dutchman Records
1971 Pieces of a Man Flying Dutchman Records
1972 Free Will Flying Dutchman Records
1974 Winter in America Strata-East Records
1975 The First Minute of a New Day Arista Records
1976 From South Africa to South Carolina Arista Records
1976 It's Your World Arista Records
1977 Bridges Arista Records
1978 Secrets Arista Records
1980 1980 Arista Records
1980 Real Eyes Arista Records
1981 Reflections Arista Records
1982 Moving Target Arista Records
1994 Spirits TVT Records
2010 I'm New Here XL Recordings
2011 We're New Here XL Recordings / Young Turks
2014 Nothing New XL Recordings

Live albums

Year Album Label
1976 It's Your World Arista Records
1990 Tales of Gil Scott-Heron and His Amnesia Express Castle Music UK/Peak Top Records
1994 Minister of Information: Live Peak Top Records
2004 The Best Of Gil Scott-Heron Live Intersound
2004 Tour De Force Phantom Sound & Vision
2004 Save The Children Delta Music
2004 Winter In America, Summer In Europe Pickwick
2005 Greatest Hits Live Intersound
2008 Live At The Town & Country 1988 Acadia / Evangeline Records

Compilations

Year Album Label
1974 The Revolution Will Not Be Televised Flying Dutchman
1979 The Mind of Gil Scott-Heron Arista Records
1984 The Best of Gil Scott-Heron Arista Records
1988 The Revolution Will Not Be Televised Bluebird Records
1990 Glory: The Gil Scott-Heron Collection Arista Records
1998 The Gil Scott-Heron Collection Sampler: 1974–1975 TVT Records
1998 Ghetto Style Camden Records
1999 Evolution and Flashback: The Very Best of Gil Scott-Heron RCA Records
2005 Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson – Messages (Anthology) Soul Brother Records
2006 The Best of Gil Scott-Heron Sony/BMG
2009 Storm Music (The Best of Gil Scott-Heron) Phantom Sound & Vision
2012 The Revolution Begins: The Flying Dutchman Masters BGP

Collaboration albums

Year Album Label Artist
2006 Rhythms of the Diaspora Vol 1. MCPR Music Unreleased Malik & the O.G's




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Gil Scott-Heron" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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