Untamed Proud Poet
He is His
He is His
— Miss Gwendolyn Brooks
A Very Long Post About the Extraordinary Artist and Poet and Storyteller and Singer and Philosopher and Influential Activist and Fighter of Inner Demons Gilbert Scott-Heron
Last week Gil Scott-Heronâ€™s death came and went and then his name disappeared into the internet abyss. He seemed vaguely familiar to a lot of people but aside from his song-poem, â€śThe Revolution Will Not Be Televised,â€ť few really knew his work. As it turns out, the ones who knew the most about him were not the consumers of music so much as artists and performers and writers and people who make things. Gil Scott-Heron was what people call an “artistsâ€™ artist.” It is a designation given only to the rare few who make art with a high degree of integrity despite whatever difficulties might plague them â€“ poverty & racism to name a few ….
GIL SCOTT-HERON, the poet and recording artist whose syncopated spoken style and mordant critiques of politics, racism and mass media in pieces like The Revolution Will Not Be Televised made him a notable voice of black protest culture in the 1970s, has died in Manhattan.
He was 62, a longtime resident of Harlem and reportedly HIV positive.
Scott-Heron often bristled at the suggestion that his work had prefigured rap. ”I don’t know if I can take the blame for it,” he said last year. He preferred to call himself a ”bluesologist,” drawing on the traditions of blues, jazz and Harlem Renaissance poetics.
— Ben Sisario, Sydney Morning Herald
Winter in America, 1974
The Bottle, 1976
Racetrack in France, 1977
Thom Jurek’s AllMusic.com review of I’m New Here (2010), Gil Scott-Heron’s first and last new album in 16 years
“Gil Scott-Heron, whose music reflected black anger, dies at 62” | Cristian Salazar, Washington Post/AP, May 29, 2011
Gil Scott-Heron in Harlem, 2010