Remembering Gil Scott-Heron: Musical Innovator and Rap Inspiration

Monday, May 30, 2011

Gil Scott-Heron, a Chicago-born poet who many called the "Godfather of Rap," died Friday, at the age of 62. Scott-Heron was a musical innovator, whose spoken-word-over-jazz 1970 debut album "Small Talk at 125th and Lenox," is often credited as year zero of rap music. The record featured songs like "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised," which, along with many other Scott-Heron compositions, became heavily sampled and referenced in music that came afterward. The musician and writer often said the accolades were misguided, and preferred to call himself a "bluesologist." 

Author and filmmaker MK Asante dedicated his first book, “Like Water Off My Back,” to Gil Scott-Heron. Jackson Allers is a music journalist who worked with Scott-Heron. They remember the musician.

Listen to a live version of "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised":


Jackson Allers and Kidd Creole

Produced by:

Max Bernstein

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