I have just woken up today to the news of the death of Gil Scott Heron. If you have heard the phrase “The Revolution will not be Televised” then you know who who he is.
He is the credited as the God Father of Hip Hop, Rap, Neo-Soul and Spoken Word as his album ‘Pieces of a Man’ and ‘Winter in America‘ went on to influence these three Genres.
Heron died yesterday evening at a hospital in New York and the cause has not yet been identified. However, in a 2008 interview with New York magazine, Scott-Heron revealed he had contracted HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, after years of batting drug and alcohol addictions. In 2001 and 2007, he was jailed on drug charges. He was 62.
The famous Revolution will not be televised phrase was from a song by the same title from his first album that went on to put him in the musical Map.
Artists such as Common, Kanye West have sampled his music with many Hip, Hop artists and Poets identifying him as the biggest influence in their careers. These artists are, Talib Kweli, Saul Williams, Bob Dylan and many others.
Indeed poets, such as Sarah Jones were so influenced that they sampled his spoken word performance of the revolution song
After a 13 year Hiatus, Gill Scott released his final album, “Am new hear” last year.
My his soul rest in Peace.