R.I.P. Gil Scott-Heron, Poet And Rap Progenitor

    Poet and musician Gil Scott-Heron died yesterday following a sudden illness. Scott-Heron is most associated with “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” a song that offered a frank depiction of black life exiting the Sixties and provided a blueprint for the socially conscious rap of Public Enemy, Common, and the Roots. Artists such as Kanye West, MF Doom, and Dr. Dre also used samples of Scott-Heron’s collaborations with pianist Brian Jackson. After experiencing great success in the Seventies, Scott-Heron was dropped by Arista in 1985. He then fought a battle with addiction, and was jailed in 2001 and 2007 on drug charges. He revealed in 2008 that he had contracted HIV during this period. He returned to recording in 2010 with I’m New Here, and the album received near-universal acclaim from music critics. Gil Scott-Heron was sixty-four years old. [CNN]