The legendary poet, musician and “Godfather of Hip Hop” Gil Scott Heron, died yesterday afternoon at St. Luke’s Hospital, New York City, aged 62.
Active right up until his death, his music and poetry has been a massive inspiration to disenfranchised people across the globe, for several generations, and was a catalyst for the birth of rap music.
Anything I could try and write about this sad news will not do the man justice, and anything I write about how this news makes me feel will sound cheesy and crass, but I feel I should write something.
He has been a personal hero of mine for many years, his political messages and heartbreaking stories resonated with me despite being worlds apart, and his poetry stimulated me to pick up a microphone myself – he will be missed by many who never knew him. There was an honesty to his work that I seldom hear in music these days, and his lyrics spoke of great strength and of great weakness, as he battled for civil rights and against his own debilitating drug addictions. I can only have eternal respect for the man, and my condolences go out to all those that knew him.
Me and the Devil now seems like his swansong, much like Johnny Cash with his cover of Hurt, there seemed a finality to his last album and perhaps a premonition in its contents.
Either way I’m New Here was a fitting end to an unbelievable musical career though his legacy to music was already etched in stone. RIP GSH.