RIP Gil Scott-Heron

Influential hip-hop pioneer Gil Scott-Heron has died in New York’s St Luke’s Hospital last night (May 27) aged 62.

“The Godfather of Hip-Hop”, a title he always rejected, lived life in the fast lane; politically and socially charged by propaganda and harrowed by an ongoing drug addiction, he found refuge in songwriting and poetry.

After a prolonged on-off affair with prison, he made a sonorous comeback in 2010 with the universally acclaimed I’m New Here released on XL Recordings. In what was to be his final offering, We’re New Here featured remixes of the album by eminent producer Jamie xx, which was also a critical bombshell.

In remembrance of Gil, below you can hear three outstanding examples of his work:

-James Godwin, May 28th, 2011