I've listened to him for years. I will miss him and his music. As an Anglo-Saxon human, I never felt offended by his words. Spend some time and look at our country differently.
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I saw Gil Scott-Heron a bit more than 30 years ago. This was in a little club in a little farm town next to my then-university town. The audience was 99.9 percent white. He introduced one song, "Whitey on the Moon," by saying something like this: "I started thinkin' that if they could send one white guy to the moon, why not send 'em all?"
There was a brief pause before most of us clapped, tentatively at first, then more solidly. Each of us was doubtless thinking that he couldn't be talking about us. We, after all, were cool enough to have come to the show. But we knew at the same time that he was really and absolutely talking about each and every one of us.
It was a great show, by a truly impressive guy. I'm glad I got to see him, and I was sad to learn of his passing.
No Hodu, he was not talking about you. If we stop and think, we know who he was talking about. The people on FDL know who he was talking about. Thanks to the computer, and dumb talk shows, the people he was talking about have identified themselves.
I'm sure he would have been insulted to be called a "rapper". He made very thoughtful social commentary and I believe he died of a broken heart because of the lack of change. I'm sure he expected things to get better. He's at peace at last. I will always have fond memories of GSH.
I was sad to hear of his loss as well. In honor of Mr. Scott-Herron, I'm currently listening to an album of his that I purchased as a kid. "Pieces of a Man." Still has the shrink wrap on it and the price sticker. For those that remember, the sticker is Licorice Pizza's and the price is $4.98. Record company was Flying Dutchman Productions,Ltd. Release date is 1971.
Even as a kid and; therefore, much before my audiophile days, I remember being impressed with the recording quality. His picture is on the cover. But obviously, he looks a lot younger than he does on his current release.
Regarding the rapper comparison. I guess I can see that in terms of much of his singing sometimes seems more like talking with musical accompaniment.
Not sure what genre I would put him in. Sometimes think of him as more toward jazz, or something like War.
I still enjoy his music though. Whatever the genre.