TRIBUTE // R.I.P Gil Scott – Heron 1949 – 2011
“We accept electronics and electricity…you cannot turn on a microphone or turn the lights on without it, so we’re not afraid to put in an instrument in that context” An expression lifted from an interview with the Fader where the late figure was asked about his genre departure on last LP I’m New Here. Mr Scott-Heron came to prominence in an era where social predicaments at home and abroad as well the apartheid regime in South Africa. His languid but sentimental nous secured conscious solidarity which endeared him to the oppressed masses worldwide.
I first read about the man himself a few years back via his poem collection Now and Then: The Poems of Gil Scott – Heron. As I sifted through his assortment of mindful and rousing prose, I immediately assumed this was a posthumous hotchpotch and my assumption wasn’t a mark of dishonour but one which recognised his thoughts as timeless (Almost eerie in a sense now) . If you take time to decipher and acknowledge his earlier discography, many of his woes are sadly still prevalent amongst communities of an ethnic foundation.
However, Gil did his utmost with relative success to bring this into the popular consciousness interweaving subtle satire with common idioms articulated with a precise finish. It’s a sad measure of society when it takes a death to recognise one’s talents but his poetry and music live on. He always fought a battle with his personal demons as is always the case with many geniuses. Nonetheless, there was a method to his “madness”.
Plactate your ear passages and take in some steady and poignant favourites from his back catalogue below.
‘Legend In His Own Mind’
‘Rivers Of My Fathers’
Rest In Peace Gilbert.