Saturday, May 28, 2011
Gil Scott Heron, the Godfather of Rap Music as died at age 62. Heron was a social and creative revolutionary, who founded what we commonly refer to as spoken word poetry. He was the original "conscious rapper." He was the embodiment of his own influences such as, Langston Hughes, Malcolm X and Nina Simone. He has been sampled by various rappers such as Common, Mos Def and Brand Nubian and performed regularly until his death on Friday.
I would encourage anyone interested to check out his biography and his music if you aren't familiar, as he was a remarkable musician, definitely ahead of his time. At the height of his popularity music, particularly black music was changing sporadically, and there was no signature form of music that black folks were collectively endorsing. You had the rockers, the doo whoppers, the R&B heads, the disco heads, the jazz and blues junkies, etc. Heron was able to fuse some of these styles together mixed with some spoken word poetry to create something that would be the beginning of a new form of music, now referred to as hip-hop.
Artists like Gil Scott Heron only come along once in a lifetime and they are usually never given the credit they deserve. For those of you that may not know who he was and for those of us who do you will undoubtedly have heard this song.