Godfather of Hip-Hop, civil rights protester, black icon – Gil Scott-Heron was instrumental in shaping the culture of New York in the 1970’s, but disappeared during the 80’s, only to surface amidst allegations of cocaine use in the early 00’s. He seems to have put this behind him though, and has been coaxed back into the studio to produce another album:
“Gil Scott-Heron was doing rhyming and spoken word over a back-beat as long ago as 1970,” Russell explains. “The music that became hip hop and rap – that’s what he was doing. He is undisputedly one of the people who invented that type of music. And it’s gone on to be incredibly important, and affect the culture in an enormous way.”
Rumours of a “new” Gil Scott-Heron album, like the reunion of the Friends cast, have circulated for as long as anyone can remember.
But Russell has guided the poet into the studio at last, and a long-player waggishly entitled I’m New Here will be released in February – Scott-Heron’s first for 15 years.
‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’ – this was recorded when Barbara Streisand was singing ‘The Way We Were’ on the radio.