Gil Scott-Heron

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About Gil Scott-Heron

Blending jazz, R&B, and funk with both traditional songwriting and spoken word pieces, Gil Scott-Heron made groundbreaking strides in American music that profoundly influenced the hip-hop that surged in his wake. Born in 1949 in Chicago, Heron grew up in Tennessee and The Bronx. By his early teens, he had already shown himself to be a gifted songwriter. After publishing his critically acclaimed debut novel, The Vulture, he turned to recording. Small Talk At 125th and Lenox, released in 1970, was sparse, driven by political, no-nonsense poetry like “Whitey on the Moon,” and an early version of his most influential work, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” finalized on 1971’s soulful Pieces of a Man. Over five decades, Heron warned of the dangers of alcohol with 1974’s jazzy, expansive “The Bottle,” railed against Ronald Reagan on 1981’s epic “”B” Movie,” and had his final album, 2010’s I’m New Here, remixed by Jamie xx as the electronic, atmospheric We’re New Here (from which Drake sampled “I’ll Take Care of U” on 2011’s “Take Care”). He died that same year, leaving a legacy of conscious music that continues to make its mark on new generations of artists.

Chicago, IL, United States
April 1, 1949
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