Friday, May 27, 2011

Gil Scott Heron Rare Photo | Gil Scott Heron Pics | Gil Scott Heron Bio | Gil Scott Heron Info

Gil Scott Heron

Gil Scott-Heron is an American poet, musician, and author 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".

Born in Chicago in 1949, Scott-Heron had a difficult, itinerant childhood. After his parents divorced he was sent to live with his grandmother in Lincoln, Tennessee. A civil rights campaigner, she introduced him to both music and literature. But the young Scott-Heron endured constant racial abuse as one of only three black children picked to integrate an elementary school in nearby Jackson. Returning to New York to live with his mother, he got a different perspective on oppression in the housing projects of the Bronx.

But he was too bright to settle for less. After publishing an acclaimed novel, The Vulture, at the age of 19, he won a place at Lincoln University, Pennsylvania, the alma mater of his hero, black poet Langston Hughes. He dropped out after a year to pursue a career in poetry. In 1970 producer Bob Thiele convinced him to set his first collection, Small Talk at 125th and Lenox, to music; the album's conversational style and funky percussion earned Scott-Heron the tag of "the godfather of rap". He once joked, with typical insouciance: "I ain't saying I didn't invent rapping. I just cannot recall the circumstances."

Classic protest songs such as The Revolution Will Not Be Televised and Whitey On the Moon were fuelled by a keen, angry intelligence. His back catalogue also boasts several articulate dissections of an addict's mindset, including The Bottle and Angel Dust. On 1971's Home Is Where the Hatred Is, he sang, "You keep saying kick it, quit it, kick it, quit it, God but did you ever try to turn your sick soul inside out so that the world can watch you die?" It has never been clearly established when Scott-Heron became addicted to cocaine; looking back on his works about drugs, it seems the line between empathy and autobiography was blurred throughout his career. Even in recent years, he has used his ready wit to fudge the issue of his drug use.

in my opinion, Gil Scott Heron is THE MOST important political musician of the last 40 years.
he made it happen.
he invented it.

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