The Pace Report

Season 2011 Episode 08.30.11

The Pace Report: "The Revolution Will Be Jazz" The Giacomo Gates Interview

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During the early 1970’s, African-Americans were craving and embracing a more powerful and conscious message that was being conveyed by musicians like Sly Stone to James Brown to Curtis Mayfield. These musicians, unlike the vocal and political stylings of Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson, enlightened a new generation of listeners to become more aware of their social and economic surroundings, as well as becoming a new voice for change. Heron is considered the father of conscious rap that paved the way for MC’s and singers like Mos Def, KRS-One, Talib Kweli, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Black Thought, and Paris. Not only is he an accomplished singer/songwriter, Gil’s an exceptional novelist and poet. On the afternoon of May 27th, 2011, the world lost an icon that shined a light on many in the rap community as well as writers and poets like myself. Gil Scott-Heron made his transition at the age of 62 at St. Luke’s Hospital in New York City. Born on April 1st, 1949 in Chicago, Illinois, his parents divorced at an early age and was sent to live with his grandmother in Jackson, Tennessee. His father, Giles Heron, became the 1st Afro-Caribbean player to play soccer here in the US and in Scotland during the 1950’s. When Heron’s grandmother passed away, he moved to the Bronx to live with his mother. Gil’s gift for poetry got him a full-scholarship at Fieldston School, a prep school whose curriculum prepares most students for the top ivy league schools in the country. He would later drop out of Lincoln University to pursue his writing and later music career with songwriting partner Brian Jackson. In addition to becoming a prolific songwriter, Gil was successful author. His first two books, “The Vulture” and “The Nigger Factory” were both written when he dropped out of undergrad. In 1970 Gil was living in Harlem, where a major arts scene was taking place. Coffee shops were the new platform for poets like The Last Pmoreless

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