Gil Scott-Heron died yesterday afternoon. He was probably most famous for “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.” (Check it out here.) The lyrics — this was the 1970s — seem sort of tame today, compared to the political hatred spewing all over the Internet and all the angry violent heavy metal/rap lyrics out there. But it was a start. He said what needed to be said.
Gil Scott Heron was sometimes called the Godfather of Rap, but he rejected that title. He once wrote:
“If there was any individual initiative that I was responsible for it might have been that there was music in certain poems of mine, with complete progression and repeating `hooks,' which made them more like songs than just recitations with percussion.”
Scott-Heron’s music has been widely sampled by rappers. I’m guessing Dr. Dre’s “The Chronic” (1992) has a lot of Scott-Heron samples.
My favorite songs of his were Winter In America and The Bottle. You can find more YouTube links here.