If you haven’t heard the news, we lost Gil Scott-Heron Friday–a loss that is felt even more sharply because of the run of amazing music he released recently, after years of silence. It seems a shame to dwell on that loss on the day most of us our catching a breeze in the park or at the beach, enjoying our friends and celebrating the start of summer–until you take a second to realize that Memorial Day was set aside, after all, as a day to remember fallen soldiers. So whether you’re cuing up picnic jams on a boombox or sitting in front of a computer workstation in a prison library, take a second to remember Scott-Heron–revolutionary, forerunner of all rap music, one of the towering talents of our time–today. As a person and an artist, Gil was deep and broad as well as tall, so there are many, many ways to remember him. You can watch the video for “I’m New Here” right here or buy the album it’s from here. You can check a nice compilation of his songs that have been sampled over here or read the excellent pieces on him in FADER and Waxpoetics recently or just listen to one of his classics in all it’s original glory after the jump. Personally, we prefer to remember him as he appears in the photo above–talking loud and speaking volumes.


  • troubleman81

    RIP Gil…..we look forward to carrying on a legacy you started so long ago

  • rtoriq

    THANK YOU for this. YES PLEASE put his name on blast. People just don’t know man….this man is my HERO. i just appreciated SO MUCH about him. i learned about him passing early Friday evening thru a friend thru text, only to have a couple other texts asking me if it was true, which it was. i already said my piece in the okayplayer forum, however all-over-the-place it may have come off, but something about this loss gives me a strange and contradicting feeling; Gil, i’m saddened that you left and saddened not knowing whether or not you died knowing just how loved you were. But i am happy because long-lost brothers and sisters seem to have been emerging, united in our love and respect for you. i wish you could just see the pouring of praise. Your work may have not been led you to the stage of the famous Kennedy Center or the Grammys or barely even there on MTV or VH1, and SADLY and pathetically not merely even MENTIONED let alone honored at a BET awards or anywhere else on BET, WHILE YOU WERE STILL HERE. A so-called BLACK Entertainment station for goodness’ sakes!! And you know what, despite that, the libations pour. The mouths speak. Words are written. Social media buzzes. Beats are made. Fists are put up. ALL FOR YOU. That’s OUR “somethin’ to offer you”. Have no doubt brother WE LOVED YOU!! As i said on probably a gazillion other sites, i wish the world wasn’t as hard on you as it had been, just because you chose to not cave in to making meaningless music and chose to be critical of your environment. i also wish i was born in your generation so i could have been your support thru drugs and bad times! Real talk, “i’d take care of you” the way Coretta took care of King, and Betty did Malcolm. You are that phenomenal to me. And I loved you Elder.

    “Peace Go With You Brotha”
    R.I.P. Gilbert “Gil” Scott-Heron (4/1/1949 – 5/27/2011)
    Poet, Bluesologist, Author, Activist, Commentator, Griot, Godfather of Hip-Hop, Comedian, Musician, Vocalist, Songwriter, Father, and Friend.

    • Erika Moss

      Well said!!!!! <3

  • allismusic

    Wait so Gil died on Friday and now is when okplayer decides to pay respect SMH.

  • D. HOGG

    i heard the news around 4:30am on saturday morning. i put together a mixtape from his older stuff and added some of ‘i’m new here’. hate we lost this man but i am very greatful that he was put here in the first place. his contributions were bigger than “the revolution…” and i hope everyone takes time out to explore that. as far as when OKP posted the news, i’m sure you posted it first chance you got. this is not a 24-hour news source. if it wasn’t for OKP then i wouldnt have known about ‘i’m new here’ dropping in the first place. keep ya’ head up, OKP and everybody else out there. R.I.P. Brother Heron. #I think I’ll Call It Morning from now on…

  • 4HERUK

    Peace god… See you on the next (dimensional) level

  • Rest In Peace, Brother. A tribute to Gil Scott-Heron:

  • Old G

    Computer workstations in prison libraries don’t have internet access.