Saturday, May 28, 2011

Gil Scott-Heron: A Life Without Commercial Interruption

by Barry Michael Cooper

"The Revolution/will not go better with Coke/
...the Revolution will put you in the driver's seat/
the Revolution will not be televised/Not be televised/
the Revolution will be no rerun, Brother..."

Gil Scott Heron, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

On Friday, 27 May 2011, the world of spoken-word lost its poet laureate, and Hip Hop is missing it's paterfamilias; Gil Scott-Heron died. He was 62. GOD Rest his soul.

When Gil Scott-Heron rejected the title "Godfather of Rap" it was with good reason. Money didn't own him; as a genuine post-modern griot, Gil Scott-Heron embraced poverty. Not that he was poor--he wasn't--or that he didn't like money (I'm sure he did). Gil Scott-Heron didn't love money, and therefore, money didn't own him. A true MC, a true Master of the Ceremony must be just that; a master, leader, and conductor of the ceremony, pageantry, and celebration. One who can lead the band without becoming a slave to the rhythm. Or the money. To embrace poverty means the corporate sponsors can't put a price ticket on your head, because if they can price you, then they can buy you, and if they can buy you, then they own you, and if they own you, then they can lock down and silence their caged bird when they disapprove of the song it sings.

Gil Scott-Heron said the Revolution wouldn't be televised but that was his reverse psych on an enthralled public. Gil Scott-Heron forecast a revolution of Black thought and American letters--an analog-to-4G broadband-of-a-broadcast--for more than 40 years. A waveform of a higher vibration.

The life and creativity of Gil Scott-Heron exemplified the true meaning of wealth in poverty, because he was free to say what was on his mind. And we were enriched by his platinum thoughts. As a true hunger artist, Gil Scott-Heron knew that his wealth in poverty was the vault of his soulful authenticity; protecting the riches of his heart, and money can't bankrupt a truth-tellers soul, overstand? Exeunt, noble Prince. We hardly knew thee, but what you allowed us to become acquainted with--the treasures stored in one of the greatest American literary minds this country has ever produced--changed us forever. No bottle could hold you. No crack could break you. The doves in all bedrooms will cry silently tonight as GOD steers your flight home. Many of us will rock something red, black and green in your memory. We have been saving it for just the right occasion.

Be sure to pick up my new anthology, "Hooked On The American Dream-Vol.1: New Jack City Eats Its Young," available exclusively on Kindle/Amazon. Amazon/Kindle has a free, downloadable app for all computers and mobile devices. Click here to go to the "Hooked On The American Dream-Vol.1:New Jack City Eats Its Young" Kindle store site.

1 comment:

Cavewoman174 said...

after reading this flashback of the Afro American, Black Power, Afro, cornrow Soul Train, and FM radio where i first heard his songs. Right on My Brother Write on