Friday May 27th, 2011 poet and musician Gil Scott-Heron passed away due to complications from pneumonia affected by his status as HIV-Positive. Although Heron struggled for survival from years of failing health, his legacy still remains most surprisingly among younger generations.
Even now tweets are still requesting sympathy of his death pouring through Twitter’s trends. Facebook even has posts from members that have linked videos uncovering some of his greatest works.
Much of Scott-Heron’s poetry reflects upon the state of society in regards to race relations. Some have compared Scott-Heron’s style to black militancy although his works focused on mashing together poetry and music. Contemporary Hip-Hop artists have used his musical compositions as a source for creating innovative songs such as Kanye West’s songs “My Way Home” and “The People”. Scott-Heron has also been sampled by Mos Def, Black Star, Dr.Dre and Common.
Although coined as the “Godfather of Hip Hop” Scott-Heron remained true to his jazz roots and three months ago released album titled, “I’m New Here”. The album received positive reviews and resembles stylistic movements similar to “The Revolution Will Not be Televised”. The album was even sampled by indie-pop group member Jamie from the xx, titled “We’re New Here” with a revamping of Scott-Heron’s material.
Gil Scott-Heron is a pivotal figure of spoken word and role model for poets all over the world. Despite the absence of his human presence, his revolution will finally be aired.
“I did not become someone different that I did not want to be, but I’m new here..can you show me around?”-Gil Scott-Heron