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Old 05-28-2011, 08:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Gil Scott-Heron Dies at 62



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Gil Scott-Heron (April 1, 1949 May 27, 2011) was an American poet, musician, and author known primarily for his work as a spoken word performer in the 1970s and 80s, and for his collaborative soul works with musician Brian Jackson. His collaborative efforts with Jackson featured a musical fusion of jazz, blues and soul music, as well as lyrical content concerning social and political issues of the time, delivered in both rapping and melismatic vocal styles by Scott-Heron. The music of these albums, most notably Pieces of a Man and Winter in America in the early 1970s, influenced and helped engender later African-American music genres such as hip hop and neo soul. Scott-Heron's recording work is often associated with black militant activism and has received much critical acclaim for one of his most well-known compositions "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised". His poetic style has been influential upon every generation of hip hop since his popularity began. In addition to being widely considered an influence in today's music, Scott-Heron remained active until his death, and in 2010 released his first new album in 16 years, entitled I'm New Here.

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."The Observer's Sean O'Hagan 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.
Sean O'Hagan

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".



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Old 05-29-2011, 03:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 05-29-2011, 03:55 AM   #3 (permalink)
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