WTM #1130: Gil Scott-Heron RIP

wReck thiS meSS ~ Radio Patapoe 88.3 
Amsterdam ~ Ethno-Illogical Psycho-Radiographies

13.06.11 // 16.45-18.30


Sunship > John Coltrane [Sunship / impulse]
Real Black WTM > B/art
Rivers of My Fathers > Gil Scott-Heron
The Negro Speaks of Rivers > Langston Hughes
New York City – It’s Your World (1976) > Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson
Shut Em Down > Gil Scott-Heron
Real Black WTM > B/art
I’m New Here  > Gil Scott-Heron
The Revolution Will Be Televised  > Smoove
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (Buyos Remix 2011) > Soul Rebels
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised > Gil Scott-Heron
On Coming From a Broken Home 1 > Gil Scott-Heron
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised > Gil Scott-Heron + Skip Blumberg
The Revolution Will Be Televised > Black Sifichi vs Negative Stencil [Tick / Noise Museum]
Home Is Where The Hatred Is (1971) > Gil Scott-Heron
+ Amen [backwards] > John Coltrane [Sunship / impulse]
On Coming From a Broken Home 2 > Gil Scott-Heron
B Movie > Gil Scott-Heron
Ascent [variable] > John Coltrane [Sunship / impulse]
+ Hard Facts: Rockefeller’s Your Vice-President and Your Mama Don’t Wear No Draws > Amiri Baraka [Totally Corrupt / Dial-a-Poem]
Ascent [variable] > John Coltrane [Sunship / impulse]
+ Definition of a Poet [Reelblack POET]  > Ursula Rucker
Whitey on the Moon  > Gil Scott-Heron
Real Black GSH WTM > B/art
The Negro Speaks of Rivers > Langston Hughes
Your Soul Or Mine > Gil Scott-Heron
Brother > Gil Scott-Heron
I’ve Been Me (Interlude) > Gil Scott-Heron
The Weary Blues > Langston Hughes
Where Did The Night Go > Gil Scott-Heron
We Almost Lost Detroit- Bridges > Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (Lunar Disco Remix) > Soul Rebels
I, Too > Langston Hughes
Lady Day & John Coltrane > Gil Scott-Heron
NY Is Killing Me > Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie xx
Revolution Uber Alles > Dead Kennedys vs Gil Scott-Heron vs Who Boys
New York Is Killing Me > Gil Scott-Heron Featuring Mos Def
Real Black GSH WTM > B/arT

Gil Scott-Heron is an important artist who has somehow become devalued by/over time and the zeitgeist [which is characterized by attention-deficit and increased onanistic desires reinforced by social media and entertainment hardware]. The more relevant, the more shoved into a corner, proper for neglect. Was it because he was an outspoken black critic of US culture and government policy and did not play the strict entertainment game. Was it because he was a crack addict? Perhaps. Despite an amoral veneer, the Western and/or American entertainment business is terribly and hypocritically moralistic and demonizes and ostracizes at will those who do not fit their constellation of stars. Could it be that he is black and combined with the above, he created a body of work that was both impressive and imposing, difficult to categorize or make light of. He kept plugging away, ever the gentleman, ever the gracious guy in public, seething and in pain deep inside. Despite some chic protest and some chic beautiful people types doing celebrity activism there is never much room in the entertainment business for acerbic critique despite the musicality, talent, cleverness and jazzy nature of his material. I really, really liked him and I am pathetically to blame for the very thing I despise: raiding the cemetery: we wait until someone dies before we re-notice them, giving them full honors, lots of retrospectives, lots of rereleases [the joke was that when Michael Jackson died he became a better selling artist dead than when alive, certainly when you compare recent years…] and respect – the very things he could’ve used while he was alive. It is as if we are consumer-graverobbers, more comfortable with a dead idol/artist so that we can interpret him in the neat/clean way we want, rather than a messy living person who might disrupt our own need to create streamlined heroes.

Saddest thing is him dying [probably alone] just shortly after this dynamite, powerful, wonderful, revealing, warm, engaging and creative new album comes out…

nice story by someone who knew him: Growing Up With Gil Scott-Heron: In Loving Memory Danny Goldberg, AlterNet

Listen to selected shows at wreckthismixcloud

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s