Musician Gil Scott-Heron Dies at 62
Several artists, including Kanye West, have cited the poet-musician as an influence.
Influential musician and poet Gil Scott-Heron died Friday afternoon in New York, NPR reports. He was 62.
He is credited as one of the originators of hip-hop and is perhaps best known for the spoken-word track "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised."
Scott-Heron was born in Chicago on April 1, 1949, spending his formative years in Jackson, Tenn., attending DeWitt Clinton High School in New York City and studying at Lincoln University near Oxford, Pennsylvania.
During his time at Lincoln University, Scott-Heron formed the band Black & Blues with Brian Jackson. After taking time off from college, he penned a few novels, one of which, The Vulture, was well-received.
His first recording was 1970's album Small Talk at 125th and Lenox, which included a version of "Televised." Scott-Heron continued to record through the early 1980s before taking a break. He then released the 1994 album Spirits, which featured "Message to the Messengers." Scott-Heron's most recent album, 2010's I'm New Here, was well-received by critics.
During his career, Scott-Heron released more than a dozen studio albums, nine live recordings and nearly a dozen compilations.
Kanye West, who used a sample of Scott-Heron's voice on a track for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, is one of several artists who have cited Scott-Heron as an influence.
In addition to West, Aesop Rock, Talib Kweli and Common are just a few of the rappers who dove into the meaning of "Televised."
Scott-Heron dealt with substance abuse in the 2000s, spending time in jail for drug possession.
Check out Chris Cunningham's audio-visual remix of Gil Scott-Heron's NY IS KILLING ME below.