The world lost one of the pioneers of hip hop, rap and neo-soul when Gil Scott-Heron passed away on Friday, May 27, at the age of 62.
The celebrated poet, musician and author was noted for setting his poetry to jazz music and for his social and political messages. Scott-Heron is perhaps best known for his composition “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.”
Hip hop artist Lupe Fiasco wrote a tribute to the late Scott-Heron in the same structure of “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.” He posted the entire piece, titled “The Television Will Not Be Revolutionized,” on his website, and signed it “Wasalu ‘Lupe Fiasco’ Jaco in Dedication to that guiding light of a human being Gil-Scott Heron.”
Many hip hop artists have sampled the poet’s works, most recently Kanye West in “Lost In This World/ Who Will Survive in America” off of his 2010 My Beautiful Dark Twisted Family.
West gave a special performance of the song at Scott-Heron’s memorial service this morning at Riverside Church in New York City. Other performances included Scott-Heron’s daughter Gia, who sang Bette Midler’s “The Rose,” and members of his touring band, Glen “Astro” Turner, Vernon James and Bilal Sunni-Ali, who performed “Better Days Ahead” and “The Bottle.”
Scott-Heron released his 13th studio album I’m New Here last year — his first release of original material in 16 years.