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Saturday Videos – Gil Scott-Heron, in Memoriam

May 28, 2011

Gil Scott-Heron – poet, singer, truthspeaker – died yesterday at the age of 62.

Below are some clips from the 1982 film Black Wax, a concert documentary which captures Gil nearing the end of his most productive and influential period (’71-’83). He was subsequently dropped by Arista records in the mid-eighties and didn’t make another record until 1993, by which time drug addiction had begun to consume his life and career. He continued performing sporadically through the ’90s and 2000s, but didn’t make another record until approached by British producer Richard Russell in the late 2000s. The result was 2010’s I’m New Here, a collaboration that brought Gil, frailer and unhealthy from years of drug abuse, back into the public sphere. The news of his death comes a year and a bit after that record’s release, and will no doubt add increased weight to its already-heavy mood. For more info on the man and his legend, watch a 2009 British-produced documentary here.

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