Gil Scott-Heron, R.I.P.

GilScot-Heron_Press.3.jpg
Mischa Richter
Gil Scott-Heron died on Friday. He was 62.
You know why Gil never had much love for that ill-conceived Godfather of Rap tag. If you're already your own genre, you don't need the weak currency offered by another. If you're a one-off, why would you want to bask in the reflected glory of knock-offs? If you're already Odin, being proclaimed the decrepit sire of Thor and Loki just ain't gonna rock your world.

Gil knew he wasn't bigger than hip-hop—he knew he was just better. Like Jimi was better than heavy metal, Coltrane better than bebop, Malcolm better than the Nation of Islam, Marley better than the King James Bible. Better as in deeper—emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, politically, ancestrally, hell, probably even genetically. Mama was a Harlem opera singer; papa was a Jamaican footballer (rendering rolling stone redundant); grandmama played the blues records in Tennessee. So grit shit and mother wit Gil had in abundance, and like any Aries Man worth his saltiness he capped it off with flavor, finesse and a funky gypsy attitude.

He was also better in the sense that any major brujo who can stand alone always impresses more than those who need an army in front of them to look bad, jump bad, and mostly have other people to do the killing. George Clinton once said Sly Stone's interviews were better than most cats' albums; Gil clearing his throat coughed up more gravitas than many gruff MCs' tuffest 16 bars. Being a bona fide griot and Orisha-ascendant will do that; being a truth-teller, soothsayer, word-magician, and acerbic musical op-ed columnist will do that. Gil is who and what Rakim was really talking about when he rhymed, "This is a lifetime mission: vision a prison." Shouldering the task of carrying Langston Hughes, Billie Holiday, Paul Robeson and The Black Arts Movement's legacies into the 1970s world of African-American popular song will do that too. The Revolution came and went so fast on April 4, 1968, that even most Black people missed it. (Over 100 American cities up in flames the night after King's murder—what else do you think that was? The Day After The Revolution has been everything that's shaped America's racial profile ever since, from COINTELPRO to Soul Train, crack to krunk, bling to Barack.)

Gil, a student of radical history and politics, knew that if you were charged with the duties of oracle, troubadour, poet, gadfly, muckraker, and grassroots shit-talker, your job was to ride the times (and the Times) like Big rode beats, to provoke the state and the streets, to progress your own radical headspace. Many cats of Gil's generation became burnt-out anachronisms from trying to wage '60s battles on '70s battlegrounds; some are still at it today. Gil knew The Struggle was a work-in-progress—a scorecard event of win-some-lose-some, lick your wounds, live to fight another day. Keep your eyes on the prize—a more Democratic union—but also on the ever-changing same. Keep it progressive but keep it moving too. Not so difficult if you're the type of self-medicating brother who gets lonely if he doesn't hear the yap of hellhounds on his trail.

Gil described himself best as a "Bluesologist," a Hegelian-cum-African student of the science of "how things feel." Thus the vast emotional range in Gil's writings—why the existential consequences of getting high and the resultant pathos could move that stuttering vibrato to emphatic song same as the prospect of South African liberation could. We call Gil a prophet, but most prophets don't prophesy their own 40-year slow-death with the precision, poignancy and nuance he did on "Home Is Where The Hatred Is," "The Bottle" and "Angel Dust." Gil was better than most rappers because he leaned as hard on his vulnerability as other muhfuhkuhs lean on their glocks, AK's and dogged-out bitches, real or rhetorically imagined. His potency as a balladeer is vastly underrated compared to the shine shown his protest vehicles. If you yearn to hear your nutsack glorified, there are reams of lyrics ready to handily fulfill your manly needs. But the dude who needs a song allaying fears that his failure at marriage will cost him his children can only turn to "Your Daddy Loves You." I don't know what Gil's relationship to he and Brenda Sykes' only daughter Gia Scott-Heron was in his twilight-zone years, I just know that song owns the fraught distraught father-to-daughter communiqué category in the blues canon.


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154 comments
Esther Anderson
Esther Anderson

GIL SCOT-HERON , A brother, a friend who married another friend and fellow actress Brenda Sykes and had a beautiful baby girl, two people who pass through my life as I work with Bob Marley to help get the word out...It takes a Revolution to find a solution...."THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE TELEVISED"

KendraB
KendraB

GIL is at peace so let him be

Jeffrey Feller
Jeffrey Feller

dot dotditty dot dot dot dash dammed if i know!-jeffrey feller

King Teasdell
King Teasdell

Interesting that I wrote my post before reading the other post here.  It's even more interesting how I see no need to change a thing. " Living Thought is no joke!"  I read the article the day it was posted! "WE CHANGE THE WORLD BY CHANGING THE WAY WE SEE THE WORLD!"Envision the change, and then believe it can be achieved. 

King Teasdell
King Teasdell

 I am hearing the energy of Marcus Garvey, Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye, Nina Simone, Michael Jackson, Gil Scott-Heron, GERONIMO AND SO MANY MORE. THEY HAVE TRANSITIONED AWAITING OUR consciousness TO TAP IN ...FOR REAL. It's about Spirit!  Of an obituary, found in NY's "The Village Voice Blog", written by Greg Tate of Gil Scott-Heron, I was moved by this excerpt...But, (at the) end of the day, here we go again, just another dead Black genius we lacked the will or the mercy or the mechanisms to save from himself. End of the day, It all just make you wanna holler, quote liberally from The Book of Gaye and Scott-Heron, say "Look how they do my life." Make you wanna holler, throw up your hands; Doing everything you can, not to watch the disheveled poet desiccating over there in the corner—We all kept saying "Why don't he just 'kick it quit it/ kick it quit it,'" but Gil, more cunning, wounded and defensive than any junkie born, kept pushing back harder, daring any of us to try and rationally answer his challenge to the collective's impotencies and inadequacies: "You keep saying kick it, quit it/ God, but did you ever try?/ To turn your sick soul inside out/ So that the world, so that the world /can watch you die? " ............ WOW! Can you come close to getting that? You die! YOU!  The collective is not an individual.The collective is the whole.  When it is you, YOU are isolated, separated, disconnected from being apart. When it is you, YOU have selected becoming, no longer apart of the total, but a total into itself. This selfishness of 'this self' is not the You that YOU were created to be. It is then, you who has been deceived to believe that, YOU can live apart from, and away from all that is, was and will ever be. The Truth is all that is has never been separated from ALL. Everything is woven together to be one whole existence of ALL. Nothing has changed this and nothing will; except the disruption of Divine laws and its principles being ignored.YOU HAVE TO DIE SO THAT WE CAN LIVE. I can do nothing without "the all"; You can do nothing without "the all", and without 'THE ALL', there is no thing.  THERE IS NO ME WITHOUT YOU. THERE IS NO YOU WITHOUT WE. Let’s recognize to live collectively, because the enemy is actually the INNER ME, who has chosen to be disconnected from the purpose of knowing that without THE ONE, there is no one. Without the CREATOR, there is no you or me.  Energy is the beginning of all things. The Inner G is of one source. THE TIME FOR ALL HEALING HAS BEGUN..... WORDS HAVE LIFE, WORDS HAVE ENERGY. DO YOU NOT KNOW THAT SOUND IS A FORM OF ENERGY THAT NEVER DISSIPATES, BUT ONLY RECREATES IN ANOTHER SPACE AND TIME?DO YOU NOT KNOW THAT ENERGY WE ARE, AND TO ENERGY WE SHALL RETURN, WHEN WE DEPART FROM THIS THAT WILL RETURN TO DUST?ENERGY IS EVERYWHERE!!! DON’T YOU GET IT? INNER G(OD) IS EVERYWHERE!!!PLEASE, PLEASE, COME TOGETHER….RIGHT NOW. THE ONLY WAY TO GET THER(E) IS “TO—GE(T)THER!  Eternally, Yours…..Bro. King

Chantal
Chantal

This is the best article I've read about Gil Scott-Heron to date.... The only thing i'd want to add is take the rest you need brother, but come back soon - the world needs your spirit.

KellyN
KellyN

This is some of the best writing I've read in a LONG time...worthy of our brother, Gil. Thank you for telling the truth, brother Tate. You gave me chills and brought tears to my eyes.

Guest
Guest

Drugs are addictive.  A lot of people who socially protest end up this way.  Talking about problems is fine; then do something.  Start by taking care of your own family.  See how God blesses you.  My hero was in my home--daddy.  If you don't have a daddy, then learn to be someone else's daddy.  The main problem with black women is her lack of a sense of security for her family.  So, she takes over the man's role; a leftover from the plantation system.  Then she creates men who are dependent on women.  No matter what color, a breakdown in the family destroys society.

pschase
pschase

Awesome. damn right in saying that Gil was beyond the "Godfather of Rap" title..considering all the different modes his work went through, he was more like the "Continuum of Black Music" in general...blues, jazz, rap, spoken word, folk etc. Rest in Peace Gil, you must be tired, bruh

Keith Ladbetter
Keith Ladbetter

you are sleep or dead. ok for you king james version folks who think your sins or lesser. I don't know the whole story about Gil's drug use or aids. I took the things i needed for me to grow from that Bro. And i learned a lot of black history also some white folk history i never heard or karen silkwood until Gil sang about her. Like the bible i get from it what helps me the rest i leave. No man is perfect but he did what God put him here to do and for over 30 years he did a great job at it. So for those who only want to see the bad ,say negative things . speak out on the dumb niggers that's speaking for the BLACKS in these stupid azz rapp songs you listen to and buy.  No black pride, no respect, no love, no peace, no freedom ,no justice. WAKE UP NIGGERS SO BLACK FOLKS CAN TAKE OVER. [THE LAST POETS ] SONG  DIE NIGGER DIE.  My black role modles are GIL, CURTIS , STEVIE, MARVIN, JAMES, & TUPAC ,ERYKAH,& INDIA.AND THE REAL JESUS WITH FEET OF BRONZE AND WOOLY HAIR. NOT THE HIPPIE WHO ROME PUT OUT.

cherokeeblack
cherokeeblack

Hi Esther, Gil was also a friend of mine. I spoke with him all the time including a week before his transition. Several years ago, I was in the intensive care unit of St. Lukes Hospital, intabated, being feed way too much Predisone and other drugs. I was dying from an Asthma Attack. My then lover, Eric asked Gil what to do. What happened next was a miracle. Gil, sent in his Personal Doctor, Ronald Jones, M.D, who then brought in his own team. Not only did Gil's Angels save my life, Gil, took care of my medical bill which was more than 3 month's of hospitalization. Gil, was a great man, a great & loyale friend, genius, and all around good and giving spirit. He has helped and saved so many lives, no one talks about that. God gave us all free will, Gil lived his brilliant life to the fullest and the way he wanted too. Gil hurt no none, only helped. Gil dealt with his Demons on his own terms. Gil Scott Heron will live forever despite, the negative press, the haters, etc. Mr. Tate, thanks for the forum , to Esther, thank you. To both of you stay blessed. Ashe.

Keith Ladbetter
Keith Ladbetter

THAT BRO. IS NOT AT PEACE WHAT HE DIED FROM AND SMOKING CRACK AT THE END. HE WAS A PROPHET TO ALL BLACKS AND MAYBE A FEW NIGGERS. I will never let him be i loved that bro since the 70's WE NEED TO PLAY AND SAY ALL WE CAN FOR US TO HEAR HIS WORDS OF LOVE FOR HIS PEOPLE. HIS MUSIC HELPED FORM MY BLACK PRIDE AND LOVE FOR MY PEOPLE. ALONG WITH CURTIS , MARVIN , JAMES& STEVIE. MUCH LOVE TO GIL. ALWAYS.

Guest
Guest

Brother,

The Treasury Department threw me under the bus. Some niggers, underthe authority of some white people took my IRS job for no legal reason; theytried to inflict psychological warfare on me. That's why I'm writing like Ido in this forum. I worked in the executive branch of the government, nextto the president. Secret Service, IRS, Coast Guard, etc is all underTreasury. Don't deal with partisan politics; what what's actuallyhappening!! Not noise from the "poverty pimps" who only want to keep youbelieving stuff that will keep you down--and out! If we don't do something,however, about the governance of this country, it will end for most peopleas we know it. But only God really know when. Despite that, we need to beready. He is coming for those who are His. Question is, are you His?

BJRedeemed
BJRedeemed

Taxdude24, so sorry that your mom, from your comments seems so pathetic.It's obvious that living in a house where thinking like yours is dominant could only result in a most unhappy life.

Kando
Kando

@taxdude24 "Drugs are addictive..." I guess making blog posts are your drug of choice?

Guest
Guest

Gil wasn't tired; he just self-destructed. Drugs will kill you. All thatalleged awareness should have kept him from drugs. He ended-up reallyhaving nothing to say, after dying the way he did. Just face that!

Guest
Guest

New International Version<http: 13.htm="" 1_corinthians="" niv.scripturetext.com="">(©1984) <http: biblica.com="">When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, Ireasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.I Cor 13:11</http:></http:>

Guest
Guest

You're misguided. God didn't put anyone here to die from drug abuse andHIV.

Guest
Guest

Brother. Niggers will never never take over anything. And you are gettingan example of what happens when a nigger takes over, with Obama. In theend, even Hannibal got his @!# handed to him, because he miscalculated somethings--juuuust a little bit. NOt to say he didn't put up a good fight.Man, any man's battle belongs to the Lord--that is if you know Him; Godhelp you if you don't.

Guest
Guest

Fact is, you nor anyone else is around today who would know what Jesuslooked like; so your Jesus is an idol, as well. You just keep missing thepoint: We come to God, through Jesus, in faith. Not by having seen him.God, Himself is a Spirit. For a brief time in time God appeared here as aman in Jesus Christ. THAT'S WHAT YOU CAN'T GET BECAUSE YOU ARE ANUNBELIEVER. It doesn't matter what Jesus looked like; it just matters thatyou know who He was.

Guest
Guest

That's the whole problem--you only take from Scripture what you want.Therefore you don't get anything. God's not a fool. He knows better thanto let anything *YOU* take from His Word matter. Here you go with thesecomparatives, as well. The issue is not about sinning less or more; it'sabout what God did in either case. That's what makes you an unbeliever.You will never benefit from any version of the Bible; because you don'tbelieve. In scripture, Jesus said he could not work much in a town wherepeople didn't believe. Man, I'm 54 and I don't listen to stupid "Rap"music. The history is people like yourself don't know ANY black history;Gil didn't know any, either. He just took advantage of people like you whobought his lousy music. People who really live like they should and helppeople don't die like GSH. Maybe they get assassinated like MLK--who didsomething good and paid the price. The other problem is you can't sellGil's music to all the other black people who made it without knowinganything about GSH; they didn't need to know him. At the end of the day,what makes him different from Magic Johnson? Magic got the HIV, but didn'tdrug himself to death nor hasn't let the problems he had make him turn todrugs. He's a good example of how to overcome your problems.

Keith Ladbetter
Keith Ladbetter

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR POST. I ONLY KNEW GIL THRU HIS MUSIC I MEET HIM ONCE TOOK PICS. BUT NEVER SEEN THEM. ANYWAY IF PEOPLE WILL STOP AND SEE THE GOOD IN A PERSON WE WOULD BE A BETTER WORLD.

Guest
Guest

By the way, sister: Did Gil start any foundations to her others overcomethe problems he sang about? Being a former IRS agent, I look at people'sefforts to start foundations (501C organizations) that help people and thatare tax exempt. That's one way to continue your legacy after you die.

Guest
Guest

Comment: The revolution is being televised--everyday. With the newsreports of the stupid fiscal policies of Obama, that are causing recordunemployment in the Black community and financial chaos for everybody,everywhere. Question: How's that "Hope and Change" working for YOU?

Guest
Guest

Sisters, this also sounds like what Diana Ross sang about concerning MarvinGaye. You know her song "I'm Missing You" is about Marvin. Once you getinto drugs and can't overcome them, the road back to where you should be isdimly lit. For many on that road there is no light by which to see at all.

Guest
Guest

Sister, in terms of a public figure that many others can look up to,how we live our life is important. Just like how Gil's life affected yours,you should not have even waited to tell the world about his good. We areoften "secret agent" 'angels' when there's no need to be. That's because weare duplicitous when it comes to doing wrong; we think we can offset ourwrong by doing some right. But we keep it a secret because we don't want tochange our wrong, which could be seen as a public embarrassment.

For God's sake, call wrong wrong, so that others can be helped by notdoing the same thing.

Guest
Guest

By the way, is anybody keeping up with the latest numbers ofunemployment in the black community? Unemployment among teenage blacks isover 40%. In total, unemployment in the black community is said to bereaching the Great Depression number of 60%. Do you who voted for thePresident still believe this is George Bush's fault? Not so. This is inthe hands of the President. Regardless, this time study the candidates andput behind you the over 400-year-old ire you have against white people.There are so many black people who are ignorant about what's important toour country; and that means black people, too. Black people can't survive asa people in this country with unemployment this high. It could cause thereintroduction of slavery.

Guest
Guest

Folks:

All of that is nice about Gil; but what about, as one person commented"...that revolution of change" taking place in the mind?". Gil sang formoney. We didn't need to be made aware of things we all knew about andwould be fighting not to be overcome by them. Many African Americans chosethe wrong people to celebrate. We should feel bad for GSH, because he wasovercome by the very condition about which he sung to change? His songsjust made him money; his work is just reflective of an era that many whogot into trouble and who still do, relate to. If you want trouble it ain'thard to find. Gil's music related to bad times and things that will keepthose who just won't see the Light "stewed" in trouble. Denounce such alife--for the sake of young people--so they won't idolize someone whoevidently had many problems. Many young people ARE choosing BETTER. GSHhad to make damned sure that he didn't become the victim of his ownreflections. Again, cocaine addiction and having the virus that causesAIDS, along with arrests for felony drug possession is nothing tocelebrate. These things are evidence of a defeat.

For all of you old-timers and young people who want to celebrate GSH,celebrate that you didn't or won't land where he did. He is not someonethat young black people should be directed to in reflection of a lifewell-lived. Our YOUNG people need more. Many older black people need moreas well. We've been wrong too long.

BJRedeemed
BJRedeemed

Taxdude24,I pray that your family will get you the medicine and counseling that you need.Remember to pray for this brother.

Guest
Guest

Man I'm probably more happy than you could ever be. Most of the blackpeople I talk to are from a broken home, or didn't get a good education.They can't think for themselves. They are a part of this "group think" andI didn't have to listen to Limbaugh, Beck or anybody else to find that out.Many black people, whether they believe it or not, are still on theplantation. People fought and died so that we wouldn't be on theplantation, even in 2011. It's a mental thing. Yeah, they have money, butthey still think like slaves. With all the opportunities we've had, why isit we still are the most "bad-doing" minority in the country? Because wehave too many BJRedeems. What you need to be redemmed from is yourignorance.

Guest
Guest

I'm new to it. But posibly, since my home is paid for and my expenses arelow. Best place to be, don't you think, given what's going on? Hope thingsare the same for you. I'm a relatively young guy. I love the Lord; He heardmy cry.

Strong Strong
Strong Strong

@taxdude24..."All that alleged awareness should have kept him from drugs"? All of that ""alleged awareness" can turn you to drugs! In death as in life, Gil's words and music will continue to speak to us all. Maybe you should stop condemning him and listen.

And you know what?--I too came from a stable, proud, black father with little education; you aren't so damn special. And I loved Gil and his music. I've seen him live maybe twenty times, I've even promoted one of his concerts. We will miss Gil's acerbic and accurate observations like "H2Ogate Blues," his words from the heart like "95 South." Gil's death, yes, due in large part to his drug abuse - won't change or detract from his genius. 

If the best you can come up with for black heroes is two sports stars, then you don't get what Gil was trying to say at all. How about the African-American teacher, doctor, lawyer, or engineer? Aren't they more realistic heroes for our young people to aspire to - especially the ones who'll never grow above 6'4"? Your choice of "heroes" tells me a lot about your values and choices, taxdude.

No one is perfect: Nixon loved his dog. Amin loved Shakespeare, Hitler painted roses' Washington owned slaves, and Ghandi abused on his wife. You are not the Creator, to be the judge of the entirety of a man. No, not even the pieces of this man.

pschase
pschase

I disagree. Lots of things can kill you. Not many things could relieve the specific pressures on Gil's specific psyche. I can only assume he ended up not having much to say to you, in particular. And that's cool, I can face that.

Guest
Guest

Keith, good and bad can't coexist; depending on degree, one overcomes theother. Faulty thinking, brother.

Guest
Guest

Can't separate the man from his music, Kevin. He would not even be known ifit wasn't for his music.

Guest
Guest

The other thing is Gil was from a broken home. People are always callingattention to how people from these homes do well; they are the minority. Ibelieve Gil's real protest was based in the break-up of his home, by hismother and father. If our homes remain intact, we tend to pay lessattention to what's wrong in the world. It's just human nature. But if ourhome is broken, we pay more attention to what's wrong with things. Noteverybody looks deep enough at why they are the way they are; it's toopainful. So, they project their problems through other channels. Sometimesthat can help. But if you don't solve your own problems you are in noposition to solve the problems of others.

Guest
Guest

Keith, the danger in "glorifying" GSH is that we validate his bad decisionto use and be overcome by drugs. That can have the effect of causing us todo the same thing. We could do good things at first. Then when the "goinggets tough", we take drugs when the consequence of our decisions to do acertain thing smashes us. Don't think this way; it's dangerous. Blackpeople do this all the time and it's why they fail all the time. Call thesituation with Gil's life what it was--bad. Satan uses things like thisagainst you. When you began to feel sorry for a man that was once doingwell, but didn't realize that a trap was being set for him to have thethings he sang about happen to him, the same thinking will get you, too.Instead of singing about what's wrong all the time, quietly be doingsomething about it, if you can. Otherwise, Satan will trap you with thevery thing you keep saying is wrong. He does this all the time. Oh, andI'm sorry if you don't believe there is a Satan. That's what he wants youto believe, so you won't do anything to stop him.

Guest
Guest

Keith, that's the point. Once the addition came, Gil was in a dangeroussituation that had to be fixed or it would do what it did--kill him.Because he couldn't get it fixed it overcame him. People, like SmokeyRobinson, overcame drug addition. Smokey is still rolling; David Ruffin andMarvin Gaye didn't. Marvin's situation brought him back into the house hebought for his parents, and in contact with a father with whom he also had aproblem. He should have stayed away from his father. He might still bealive today. But I bet you a dime to a dozen doughnuts, his drug problemswhere a big problem with the bad decision to go back around his father, whomsubsequently killed him.

Guest
Guest

Keith, God said we must judge ourselves, first. Righteous judgment isnot wrong. Righteously judgment is what must do. People always talk say"...don't judge". We judge things and people everyday. Must of us don'tchoose to be around bad people and things. We don't want to make baddecisions about people or things. But, if we don't judge things right, wemake mistakes for which we will dearly pay. Many of these mistakes are inthe area of relationships with people. Wish I hadn't married that person orhung out with people that got me serving a long jail sentence; I should havejust gone home, instead of going out with those stupid people and ended-upgoing to jail--or screwing that woman who gave me AIDS.

We better make "right" judgments or it will could cost us our lives.

Guest
Guest

Brother, the road to life is a narrow road, says the scripture; and feware on that road. I get blasted by people who want to think that I thinkI'm better than anyone else. The only perfect man was Jesus. Everyone elsesorely miss the mark. All I'm saying is there is a reason why in apractical sense, black people have had so many problems in America. Toomany have not been able to let go of the pains of slavery, but, in turn havemade it a continuous obstacle. There is no victory in GSH being overcome bydrug addition. Otherwise, I want evidence that he was made a drug addict bythe CIA covertly giving him cocaine during a doctor visit; or giving him adate rape drug and causing to "freak-out" and take drugs. Otherwise, youare just idolizing a person that lost his battle with drugs.

Back in the day, at the lower point of black progress, Gil had amessage in his music because so much injustice was still being experienced.But, as the old Gospel song goes, "...I'm so glad trouble don't lastalways". And it doesn't; ...and it didn't. It's all right to memorializethe earlier work of GSH, when much of what he had to say was still true.But things changed. Our young black superstar mega-millionaires are theexample of that. However, for most in the black community that's not thecase. Why? America has the most millionaires in the world. But day to daylife for black people in general hasn't and won't change. That's what GSHreally sang about-- black life in America in general. Everybody hasdiffering abilities to overcome the problems they have. First one has tolearn what their particular problem is; then they have to find-out how tosolve it. As as a people we worship ourselves too much. We concentrate onthe very things that keep us down. You shouldn't use drugs or sell them toanyone. Black people still do a lot of that. You should produce childrenyou have no intention of taking care of; they just become human litter thatsociety will make sure gets destroyed. That most commonly happens whenfathers leave mothers and these children are not adequately provided for.They get inferior educations and don't know how to navigate society; that'sthe greatest problem in the black community.

If everybody learns to just basically take care of their ownresponsibilities,and stop blaming "racism" for everything, things willchange. But, that will not take place because of who is President. Thattakes place when, as Spike Lee once wrote about in a film, "...Do the RightThing". We still need to put GSH's so-called contribution in the rightperspective. He was defeated by the very thing he sang about NOT beingdefeated by. We as black people want to always be lifting-up people whoend-up being an embarrassment to us. In the end, Gil's didn't finish lifewell. We all must die. But don't let it be by a drug habit and a diseaseattributed to sexual misbehavior.

Ervin "Magic" Johnson contracted the HIV as well. But he left the NBAand continued to do good things out of the spotlight. He's an example ofhow you treat your life when you've done wrong. His glory days of playingbasketball are over. But he is still alive, because he transcended hismistake; he has to live with the illness he has. But he is still alive anddoing good things. Gil is not.

Guest
Guest

Brother, the road to life is a narrow road, says the scripture; and feware on that road. I get blasted by people who want to think that I thinkI'm better than anyone else. The only perfect man was Jesus. Everyone elsesorely miss the mark. All I'm saying is there is a reason why in apractical sense, black people have had so many problems in America. Toomany have not been able to let go of the pains of slavery, but, in turn havemade it a continuous obstacle. There is no victory in GSH being overcome bydrug addition. Otherwise, I want evidence that he was made a drug addict bythe CIA covertly giving him cocaine during a doctor visit; or giving him adate rape drug and causing to "freak-out" and take drugs. Otherwise, youare just idolizing a person that lost his battle with drugs.

Back in the day, at the lower point of black progress, Gil had amessage in his music because so much injustice was still being experienced.But, as the old Gospel song goes, "...I'm so glad trouble don't lastalways". And it doesn't; ...and it didn't. It's all right to memorializethe earlier work of GSH, when much of what he had to say was still true.But things changed. Our young black superstar mega-millionaires are theexample of that. However, for most in the black community that's not thecase. Why? America has the most millionaires in the world. But day to daylife for black people in general hasn't and won't change. That's what GSHreally sang about-- black life in America in general. Everybody hasdiffering abilities to overcome the problems they have. First one has tolearn what their particular problem is; then they have to find-out how tosolve it. As as a people we worship ourselves too much. We concentrate onthe very things that keep us down. You shouldn't use drugs or sell them toanyone. Black people still do a lot of that. You should produce childrenyou have no intention of taking care of; they just become human litter thatsociety will make sure gets destroyed. That most commonly happens whenfathers leave mothers and these children are not adequately provided for.They get inferior educations and don't know how to navigate society; that'sthe greatest problem in the black community.

If everybody learns to just basically take care of their ownresponsibilities,and stop blaming "racism" for everything, things willchange. But, that will not take place because of who is President. Thattakes place when, as Spike Lee once wrote about in a film, "...Do the RightThing". We still need to put GSH's so-called contribution in the rightperspective. He was defeated by the very thing he sang about NOT beingdefeated by. We as black people want to always be lifting-up people whoend-up being an embarrassment to us. In the end, Gil's didn't finish lifewell. We all must die. But don't let it be by a drug habit and a diseaseattributed to sexual misbehavior.

Ervin "Magic" Johnson contracted the HIV as well. But he left the NBAand continued to do good things out of the spotlight. He's an example ofhow you treat your life when you've done wrong. His glory days of playingbasketball are over. But he is still alive, because he transcended hismistake; he has to live with the illness he has. But he is still alive anddoing good things. Gil is not.

Keith Ladbetter
Keith Ladbetter

well with even the bible there's negative things in there but u don"t put it down.  We can focus on the man or on just the music. I LOVE BOTH ,I WAS BLESSED TO MEET & TALK WITH THE MAN TOOK PICS. AND HE WASN'T IN IT FOR THE MONEY TIL THE ADDICTION. However, GIL, AND CURTIS DIRECTED MY BLACK PRIDE AND I WILL ALWAYS LOVE THEM FOR AWAKING ME .IF IT WASN'T FOR THEM I WOULD PROBALY HATE MYSELF AND DO DUMB SHIT LIKE KILL MY BLACK MOTHERS WHO IS THE ONLY ONES WHO CAN CONTINUE OUR RACE. THERE STUPID NIGGA'S NEED TO LISTEN TO GIL INSTEAD OF THE SLAVES THATS RAPPIN' NOW FOR THE MONEY. TUPAC WAS THE BEST IN THIS ERA BUT HE WAS IN IT FOR MONEY. BUT FUCK WHY HE WAS IN IT I CAN BE FEELING BAD AND PUT PAC IN AND FEEL SO BLESSED. IAGREE WITH YOU ON SOME THINGS BUT NO ONE ON IS PERFECT WE ALL MAKE MISTAKES BAD CHOICES AND BREAK RULES ECT.  WORDS OR PAC. ONLY GOD CAN JUDGE US, SO TAKE THE GOOD MAKE IT A PART AND THE BAD LEAVE IT WERE IT IS.

MY NAME IS KEITH BAIN NOT[ LADBETTER ].I DON'T KNOW HOW THAT LAST NAME GOT HERE.

Guest
Guest

LAZY? That would be your daddy, if you even knew him. You haven't evennoticed that your brain fell out. Truth is you probably don't even haveenough sense to operate this system; that's probably why I never got yourdumb responses. Go back to who got you this far and see if you can't getsome help.

TRUTH
TRUTH

You LAZY idot! Why don't you check out the blogs I've posted for you further back.  You're a turd with flies clinging to it:)

Guest
Guest

To All Who Frequent This Forum:

I hope you all are taking away something from all of this: the Good,the Bad and the Ugly. Obama is handing America a "correction" like no otherin recent times. It's got everybody soul searching--that is if you're nottoo busy searching for some money to fix things.

Voting rights are not to be taken for granite; elections do haveconsequences I hear people who never even paid much attention to politicschiming in. That's good. Glad your nap is over.

Guest
Guest

You were probably ADHD, weren't you. You are probably a younger person, whojust didn't know who and what came before you. You're a drone. If you knewbetter you just couldn't believe what you heard on MSNBC. You don't knowanything about the Communications outfits you view. That's why youmentioned MSNBC. What made you think of Rush and beck concerning me.That's because you are a "brainwashed" drone. Anybody who knows anythingabout the media knows that MSNBC is unreliable; in the business of news, itis known to be one of most inaccurate and government-controlled outfit inthe industry, next to CNN.

You need more education. And you won't even come close, even if God gaveyou 200 years of life. Maybe you "self-medicated" like Gil.

TRUTH
TRUTH

And you're  one of them!

Guest
Guest

(especially the ones who'll never grow above 6'4") Ask Mugsy Bogues andSpud Webb. Sports is where we have achieve the most, and young black menstill mostly focus on thatIt's where we have achieved the most. NOthing beats a try but a failure,right?

Guest
Guest

Show people with your life how they should live.

Guest
Guest

No one that uses drugs, when they sung not to use them can tell anybodyanything. It's just the weakness of the man that causes him to turn todrugs. Plus, no trust and belief in God. If you concentrate, too much onthe wrong and evil around you, it will draw you into it. I didn't say I wasso dawn special; but I'll tell you this: I'm not so damn stupid as to usedrugs. Again, you can have ANY testimony to people when you, yourself diefrom the very things you warn others to be aware of.

Guest
Guest

Exactly!!! I just didn't mention them, too. So, when you use themisfortunes of your country, and other people to try and "so called" raisepeople's awareness-- and then things change and not necessarily because ofwhat you said, then where do you go? Gil was also into black partisanDemocratic politics. I had some of his music. He was deaf on republicans.Bet you didn't know that Martin King and Frederick Douglass wererepublicans, did ya? Black people were republicans because of Lincoln.Remember the Emancipation Proclamation? It was the Kennedy Administrationthat convinced people to change parties. Black people have been brainwashedinto believing that they should be democrats. The opposite is true. I'llleave it to you to study and find out why. Otherwise, you may very wellfind out after the next election. It's all about jobs.

Guest
Guest

NO brother!

A soul devoid of knowing the Lord can do nothing else but turn to drugs.All he sung about wasn't his to bear in that way. He was making music andmoney at one time. Just like Michael Jackson. Without knowing the Lord, youcan't have any peace. Gil didn't and couldn't handle all the crap he wasstewing about; it consumed him. Some of this stuff is just the result ofbeing a "false prophet". Much of what Gil sung about was already known.The problem is things changed and there was nothing else going on like hewas singing about anymore. Far too many black people are illiterate anddon't qualify for a job, of any kind. This is the result of too muchill-legitimacy in the black community. That's why there's such a great pushto graduate high school and go to college. Thus the Michael Jordans, KobeBryants, Le Bron James. Damn, man--James brown was singing about some ofthis stuff. There are a lot of successful black people and they're not theresult of listening to Gil Scott-Heron.

Guest
Guest

A lot of things didn't kill Gil; drugs did.

pschase
pschase

Hey taxdude24, just seeing these responses - I actually feel what you're saying on alot of these points! Yes Indeed, fathers in the Black community are an issue, to say the least. And there are many Black role models to champion, in and outside of the entertainment and sports industries. But when you say, " By the way, just because you disagree with something doesn't mean it's nottrue " you're making my point. You disagree with Gil Scott's personal life choices - that doesn't negate the truths he expressed through his work. He spoke about his personal demons as much as he addressed societal ills.

Greg Tate was presenting a poetic eulogy here, for one man who served his time to the best of his ability on planet Earth. And his best was really, really good. I think you should write from your side of things as well, you clearly have a story and some positive things to express. Gil is gone, ultimately. I choose to take the good I saw in him along with me into the future, not tear down the past.

Guest
Guest

By the way, just because you disagree with something doesn't mean it's nottrue. It's also true that a lot of things can kill you, but especiallycheck with the morgue and the mortician concerning a drug user.

Guest
Guest

I'm a "wire town" boy. The difference is while I am from it, I'm not ofit. My home was stable. My father was 51 when I was born, so he wasstable. While not an education any greater than the 3rd grade, hisgreatest asset was he worked 40 years on a job and took care of his family.The the gist of the problem in the black community--missing or ineptfathering. Women are not to head households; that's reserved for men. Yet,with so many black males being raised by their mothers, is it any wonderblack guys don't become the men they should? You don't have to be some"superstar" to raise your family. Take whatever you can get and do whateveryou can to stay with those children. And stay away from "skeezers" whetherthey have a college degree or not. They're the product of broken homes andare programmed to drive you away. Still easier to get welfare that way.

Guest
Guest

He could have just done something more to change things. It's sad to getold and not have a lot to give to the younger generation. Our youth needmore help than most. Eight in ten black males are in prison. Could that bebecause a great many of them grew up without positive male role models andmany more the product of fatherless homes?

Guest
Guest

I hear this all the time from black folks: "Think Positive" That did seemto be true for Gil.You can't keep singing protest music; it's tiring. It used to be music toget high by. After a while it also had the effect of blowing your high.

Guest
Guest

Man, I have a good amount of Gil; Winter in America thawed for many people.Just not for Gil. He needed to write more about the Black successes like LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. Then maybe he could have crossed over and wroteabout some equally successful other kinds of people. That might have helpedhim to survive the depression he must have felt, by turning to drugs--thevery things he once wrote about that destroyed people. It's like when thepagans took over Halloween.

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