*UPDATED* Gil Scott-Heron: the revolution lives on | Music | The Guardian

Political activist, rap pioneer and poet Gil Scott-Heron shaped the sound of today. His friends and famous fans on why he still matters

Source: Gil Scott-Heron: the revolution lives on | Music | The Guardian

*UPDATE* – My anecdote about the time I saw Gil at the Royal Festival Hall (and the Tel Aviv situation) has been clarified by performance-poet and musician Abdul Malik Al-Nasir, who had a close relationship with Gil and toured with him. See the comment below.

Thanks Malik!

This article is off the back of a tribute concert that’s happening in Liverpool tonight. I wish I could go, the line-up looks great.

Gil is probably one of my biggest influences. I was lucky enough to see him at the Royal Festival Hall on the Southbank when he was touring for the I’m New Here record. I remember there were some pro-Palestine people protesting outside, as he was billed as playing a gig in Israel later on in the tour and this was seen as a hypocrisy off the back of Gil campaigning against apartheid South Africa. One of the protesters came into the gig halfway through and started shouting at him. Gil didn’t break a sweat. “How would you like it if I came up to you and started shouting at you when you were doing your job?!” he quipped. At the end of the concert, he said that they would cancel the Tel Aviv gig.

A man of principles, a musical legend. Funny, too.

Here’s one of my picks. When I found out he died, I went and got a copy of this record.

Kanye West – Don’t Feed the Troll!

 


 

In light of the media attention attracted by Mr. West recently, I thought I’d post up something great produced by a pre-Yeezus Kanye, and put my two cents in.

So, I’m sure a lot of you are aware of the furore that Kanye headlining Glastonbury has caused? Especially the creation of not one, but two separate petitions (seemingly the closest thing we in the internet age have to actualising change, which is terribly sad imo) – one calling the appointment a travesty of major proportions, the other admittedly less popular one serving to give props to the “lyrical genius of a generation”.

Personally, I don’t really have a strong opinion on the announcement itself (I do remember something similar happening almost every year – particularly concerning Jay-Z (which perhaps says a lot more about the open-mindedness of the average ‘rock fan’?), and whether you like Yeezy or not, I do agree with the late great Lou Reed in thinking that he at least is one of the few remaining people in modern pop music to court controversy in trying to do something vaguely unexpected. At any rate, the Eavis clan have already effectively swept the issue to the side with their statement.

However, I will pose this angle on the situation;

Surely we all know by now that Kanye West isn’t exactly one to sit down and take things lightly? The only thing people can GUARANTEE from this petition is some sort of extremely vocal, borderline pretentious and perceptibly arrogant response (as if I need to remind you!).

So, the best thing to do would be to let him get on with it – perhaps even shower a little (perhaps justified?) praise – and minimalise the inevitable sanctimonious shitstorm that is now upon us!