Gil: A Video Tribute

“The revolution will not be televised, will not be televised, will not be televised, will not be televised.
The revolution will be no re-run brothers;
the revolution will be live.”

Gil Scott Heron(1949-2011); Godfather of  Hip-Hop. Poet. Activist. Bluesman. Jazz musician. Throughout his life, he was uneasily inhabited, but did not quite define, these labels. Instead, he crossed over these categories, forging his own identity while remaining committed to his beliefs and unique sound.  While he may be best known as a spoken word artist, to me, he is Hip Hop. The energy, the art, the verbiage that Gil Scott used is more Hip-Hop than a lot of rap music today. Scott-Heron’s influence over hip-hop is primarily exemplified by his definitive single “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” sentiments from which have been explored and used by various rappers, including Aesop Rock, Talib Kweli and Common. In addition to his vocal style, Scott-Heron’s indirect contributions to rap music extend to his compositions, which have been sampled by various hip-hop artists. Rappers and MCs has have borrowed liberally from Scott-Heron through the years.

Here is just a sample of his greatness, and its use in hip-hop music:


Artist: Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson

Track Title: We Almost Lost Detroit
Album Name: Bridges
Release Year: 1977

Sampled On:

Artist: Black Star
Track Title: Brown Skin Lady
Album Name: Mos Def & Talib Kweli are Black Star
Release Year: 1998
Producer: J. Rawls

Artist: Common
Track Title: The People
Album Name: Finding Forever
Release Year: 2007
Producer: Kanye West


Gil Scott “Comment #1”

Kanye West feat. Bon Iver, Alicia Keys and Charlie Wilson
- “Lost in the World”

Gil Scott-Heron – “Home Is Where the Hatred Is”

Kanye West feat. Common – “My Way Home”

Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson -
”Did You Hear What They Said?”

Gil Scott-Heron – “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”

Common feat. Bilal “6th Sense” (Produced by DJ Premier)


Gil Scott-Heron – On Coming From A Broken Home (Part 1) over Kanye West’s Flashing Lights