🎵 The Revolution Begins: The Flying Dutchman Masters by Gil Scott-Heron (BGP, 2012)

Listened to The Revolution Begins: The Flying Dutchman Masters by Gil Scott-Heron from BGP

The three albums that Gil Scott-Heron recorded for Bob Thiele's Flying Dutchman label are among the most important in black music history. They showed a multi-talented artist coming to full fruition with his first efforts on wax. The Revolution Begins contains every piece of music he released for the label from 1970-1971. In recent years Gil has become a lauded as one of the all-time greats. This music is the reason why.

It includes classic performances, including both the spoken word and band versions of The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, Home Is Where The Hatred Is, Lady Day and John Coltrane, Pieces Of A Man, Whitey On The Moon and Free Will.

It’s been ages since I’ve sat and actively listened to music for its own sake rather than simply having it on in the background as “noise”. I’m glad I chose this one tonight. It’s refreshing to sit and just listen to music like this again.

Whitey on the Moon, Who’ll Pay Reparations on My Soul, and No Knock are my new favorite songs. What a stunning collection this is. I’m reminded again how highly relevant The Revolution Will Not Be Televised still is almost 50 years later.

If you’re not familiar with Scott-Heron’s work, then carve out some time in your life.

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🎵 I’m New Here by Gil Scott-Heron (XL, 2010)

Listened to I'm New Here by Gil Scott-Heron from XL

I'm New Here is the 13th and final studio album by American vocalist and pianist Gil Scott-Heron. It was released on February 8, 2010, by XL Recordings and was his first release of original music in 16 years, following a period of personal and legal troubles with drug addiction.

The record was produced by XL owner Richard Russell, who was influenced by the 2009 self-titled debut album of English band the xx.[1] I'm New Here is a post-industrial blues album, with spoken word folk songs and trip hop interludes.

I'm New Here received positive reviews from most critics and debuted at number 181 on the US Billboard 200, selling 3,700 copies in its first week. It was promoted with the single "Me and the Devil", an adaptation of blues musician Robert Johnson's "Me and the Devil Blues" (1937). A remix of the album, titled We're New Here, was produced by the xx's Jamie xx and released by XL in 2011.

You can’t spend a chunk of the afternoon reading about Gil Scott-Heron without jumping into his work.

I liked the nod of the Kanye West sampling of Flashing Lights on the song On Coming from a Broken Home as a reverse homage to a generation of hip hop artists and rappers sampling Scott-Heron.

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👓 Lush life | Hub | Johns Hopkins University

Read Lush life (The Hub (Johns Hopkins University))
Jazz poet Gil Scott-Heron's posthumously published memoir, The Last Holiday, is an improvisational snapshot of a fascinating life.
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👓 New York Is Killing Me | The New Yorker

Read New York Is Killing Me by Alec WilkinsonAlec Wilkinson (The New Yorker)
Gil Scott-Heron is frequently called the “godfather of rap,” which is an epithet he doesn’t really care for. In 1968, when he was nineteen, he wrote a satirical spoken-word piece called “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.” It was released on a very small label in 1970 and was probably heard of more than heard, but it had a following. It is the species of classic that sounds as subversive and intelligent now as it did when it was new, even though some of the references—Spiro Agnew, Natalie Wood, Roy Wilkins, Hooterville—have become dated. By the time Scott-Heron was twenty-three, he had published two novels and a book of poems and recorded three albums, each of which prospered modestly, but “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” made him famous.
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📑 The Unlikely Survival of the Godfather of Rap | The New Yorker

Annotated New York Is Killing Me by Alec WilkinsonAlec Wilkinson (The New Yorker)
“It’s the death of the vertical,” he went on. “They have taken all this time to stand up straight so that they can say ‘I.’ They’re very proud of that. The way you get to know yourself is by the expressions on other people’s faces, because that’s the only thing that you can see, unless you carry a mirror about. But if you keep saying ‘I’ and they’re saying ‘I,’ you don’t get much out of it. They’re not really into you, or we, or they; they’re into I. That makes conversation slow.  
— Gil Scott-Heron
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📑 The Unlikely Survival of the Godfather of Rap | The New Yorker

Annotated New York Is Killing Me by Alec WilkinsonAlec Wilkinson (The New Yorker)
"The kids at the record company are very enthusiastic, and they have a lot of friends they have made, and they all want to have an interview, and the only problem is they’re asking the same things people asked me a long, long time ago, because that’s what they do when they’re starting—you ask questions you already know the answer to. I don’t want to disappoint them, but you can’t disappoint unless you have an appointment. They don’t know I only like to talk to people who have something to talk about other than me. Like everybody in New York, they know everything. How can you tell them anything?”  
— Gil Scott-Heron
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📑 The Unlikely Survival of the Godfather of Rap | The New Yorker

Annotated New York Is Killing Me by Alec WilkinsonAlec Wilkinson (The New Yorker)
“My grandmother was dead serious,” he said one day, sitting on his couch. “Her sense of humor was a secret.  
— Gil Scott-Heron
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📑 The Unlikely Survival of the Godfather of Rap | The New Yorker

Annotated New York Is Killing Me by Alec WilkinsonAlec Wilkinson (The New Yorker)
A philosopher might miss appointments, but so might someone with a propane torch in his apartment, even if he is a philosopher.  
— Gil Scott-Heron
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👓 Gil Scott-Heron, Revolutionary Poet and Musician, Dead at 62 | Rolling Stone

Read Gil Scott-Heron, Revolutionary Poet and Musician, Dead at 62 by Andy Greene (Rolling Stone)
Scott-Heron was best known for 1970’s ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’

I remembered reading about his passing several years back, but something this morning got some of his poetry, music, and writing stuck in the back of my head. Perhaps it was something about the revolution not being televised. In any case, what a creative soul we’ve lost…

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