The Black Bob Dylan (1949-2011)

Gil Scott Heron

Before I begin my eulogy as a fan of Gil Scott-Heron’s music, I want to recognize first and foremost that this man was a father and a friend to many people in his personal life. They knew him better than I ever will get the chance to. These people will miss  him more than any of us music fans and my heart goes out to these loved ones and family members.

I will always put this man’s name first and foremost if I am ever asked who inspires me the most musically. I remember my father used to play “1980” occasionally and I loved the song.  His songs and poems resonated with me during times of hardship and joy and provoked me to think critically of the world. If nobody else cared about his songs, I did. But I am not alone. His music and life laid some of the groundwork that would pave the way for this thing we call “Hip-Hop” or “Rap” to come along. Sampled innumerably, probably one of your favorite rap songs wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for this man.

Alas, when the music stops, we must all once again become mortal men. And mortal men die. Mr. Scott-Heron returned to the essence of everything (as the Gods would say). But, before his passing, he left behind a catalogue of music that will resonate with some people until the day they return to the essence as well… and that’s possibly the highest accomplishment attainable regarding anybody’s life-long work.

Click “Read more” below to listen to my top ten favorite Gil Scott-Heron songs

In No Order

Willing” from the album “1980

The Liberation Song (Red, Black, and Green)” from the album “First Minute of a New Day

Angola, Louisiana” from the album “Secrets

Push Come to Shove” from the album “1980

Cane” from the album “Secrets

We Almost Lost Detroit” from the album “Bridges

Did You Hear What They Said?” from the album “Free Will

Winter in America” from the album “Winter in America

The Train from Washington” from the album “Real Eyes

The Bottle” from the album “Winter in America

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