Soul poet takes his leave

2011-05-28 17:45

African-American poet, social ­activist and musician Gil Scott- Heron was a cult superhero, globe-trotting musician, drug addict, convict and brave grassroots speaker of truth to power.

Scott-Heron (62) shuffled off this mortal coil in a New York ­hospital on Friday after becoming sick on a trip back from Europe.

Born in Chicago, Illinois on April 1, 1949, he started his recording career in 1970 with an LP titled Small Talk.

In a career spanning over 40 years, Scott-Heron provided many of the building blocks of socio hip-hop.

One of his poems, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, has become a critique of mass media in the 1970s.

He also gave us the charged ­anti-apartheid anthem, “Johannesburg” in a 1976 album titled From South Africa to South ­Carolina.

Scott-Heron’s music was a unique musical fusion of jazz, blues and soul.

On his release from jail for drug possession Scott-Heron released his latest album, I’m New Here.

It was meant to be followed by a book, The Last Holiday, about Stevie Wonder’s campaign to have Martin Luther King’s birthday declared a federal public holiday in the USA but it is yet to be published.

Though dubbed the godfather of rap, Scott-Heron thought of himself more as a musician of the blues.

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