Monday, November 29, 2010

"The Black Bob Dylan"

Gil Scott-Heron may very well have been the First "Rapper," releasing his debut album and a couple novels before the genre was even a thought. Gil is known for his unique, political spoken word pieces. His storytelling is so descriptive, that 9 times out of 10, you can imagine exactly what he's talking about. The musical accompaniments are often soulful, jazz-funk, simplistic numbers that just have a perfect sense of running cadence. Scott-Heron is widely recognized as one of the pioneers of Hip-Hop; Garnering much respect from and influencing artists like Kanye, Mos Def, Nas Escobar, Dr. Dre, Q-Tip, and MF DOOM.
I really dig his first 3 albums, all Flying Dutchmen/RCA releases. Pieces of a Man (Album #2) being my stand-out favourite. It plays like a book of passionate, jazzy poetry. Pieces marked Scott-Heron's first collaboration with Brian Jackson - a composer he'd go on to collaborate with again on a string of future albums. "The Revolution Will Not be Televised" is definitely my #1 Pick/and may very well be Gil's most commercially successful track. He has gone on record to say that the song isn't even about what most people assume it to be.. But that's the beauty of music - Take it as you wish. Regardless, it just feels like such a timely, yet timeless musical document.

Young Turks/XL is releasing We're New Here: on Feb. 22, 2011 (USA). It will serve as a companion piece to Gil's fist album in 16 years, 2010's I'm New Here:. Jamie xx (The xx member/beatmaker) was personally commissioned by XL labelhead Richard Russell to re-work 13 of the album's 15 tracks. Above is the new new album's first video-single.

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