Black Music History "Giving Them Roses" – Day 9: Gil Scott-Heron

Getting ready to style on Whitey on the Moon…

I was formally introduced to Scott-Heron as a freshman in high school… My English teacher decided it was the right time to reveal some revolutionary poetry to a bunch of wide-eyed Black kids…”Whitey on the Moon” was played… Instantly, Gil Scott-Heron became all of my classmates, self-included, favorite poet… We left the class repeating lines… and declaring if we got a low grade in any of classes we were gonna send our report cards to Whitey on the Moon… 
Informally, Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson’s work was played all around me consistently growing up… I simply had no idea it was them performing the stripped-down protest song “Tuskegee 626″… Nor did I know it was the duo jamming on “Racetrack In France”… I just sort of knew he was responsible for “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”… I didn’t obtain proper context of his work until I went to college and began to “listen” to what he was talking about… Which lead me to “The Bottle”… (pun fully intended…) and other works… Later, when Little Brother released The Listening and sparked another sample hunt… I came across “The Klan” used in Phonte’s comical “Make Me Hot” track about artists trying to get on 9th Wonder beats… Whether for comic relief or socially-aware songs like Common’s “The People”… Gil Scott-Heron’s words, passion and message will forever live on through future generations…
Pops used this song to fill in space on his tape recordings… HA! Tapes…

The Bottle

The Klan

Whitney On The Moon & Alien

Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson




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