Gil Scott-Heron was a poet and recording artist whose syncopated spoken style and mordant critiques of politics, racism and mass media in pieces like “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” made him a notable voice of black protest culture in the 1970s and an important early influence on hip-hop.


Mr. Scott-Heron often bristled at the suggestion that his work had prefigured rap. “I don’t know if I can take the blame for it,” he said in an interview last year with the music Web site The Daily Swarm. He preferred to call himself a “bluesologist,” drawing on the traditions of blues, jazz and Harlem renaissance poetics.

Yet, along with the work of the Last Poets, a group of black nationalist performance poets who emerged alongside him in the late 1960s and early ’70s, Mr. Scott-Heron established much of the attitude and the stylistic vocabulary that would characterize the socially conscious work of early rap groups like Public Enemy and Boogie Down Productions. And he has remained part of the DNA of hip-hop by being sampled by stars like Kanye West.



In 2010 he was booked to perform a gig in Tel Aviv, but this attracted criticism from Palestinian groups who stated "your performance in Israel would be the equivalent to having performed un Sun City during South Africa's aparheid era...we hope that you will not play aparheid Israel ". In reponse, he cancelled the performance.

After a hard struggle with drugs , Scott Heron died on the afternoon of May, 27 2011 at Saint Luke's hospital in NYC.