So it was with shock and sadness that I learned tonight of the passing of Gil Scott Heron. The man who changed the playing field, who introduced the world to a new kind of poetry, a new kind of catharsis, a new kind of awareness. I remember when I first heard The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, how it turned my head around. There had been nothing like that before. Nothing as clear. Nothing as precise. Nothing as real. Gil Scott Heron turned on the laser beam and in that four minutes made us all understand what the problem was in no uncertain terms. He sliced through all the bullshit and made it real and this new style of poetry exploded from every corner.
He's been called The Grandfather of Rap. And in a way it's true. But he was heading into uncharted territory. He was the first. They had no name for it back then. But everyone who came after him knows it was Gil Scott Heron who got the ball rolling and made it all happen.
Tonight, as a tribute to the man and the artist I'm putting up a track from his 1973 album Winter In America. Peace Go With You Brother says it all.
You will be sorely missed - and we are so blessed to have witnessed you for the short time you were here.