Episode 16: The Music
One of the things we’ll try to do for every episode in the future is put up musical guides to let you know where to find the various bits of audio that get mixed in. Episode 16 featured several songs by or related to Gil Scott-Heron so it’s the perfect place to start:
Gil Scott-Heron – “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”
Probably his most famous work, this poem was originally included on his 1970 album Small Talk at 125th & Lenox but there are alternate versions floating around as well.
Gil Scott-Heron – “Home is Where the Hatred Is”
Another popular track, this one from 1971′s Pieces of a Man. ”Home is Where the Hatred Is” works as a nice contrast to “Revolution” as well, this time singing about something very personal as opposed to delivering poetry about something very large—the man had range, to say the least.
Kanye West- “My Way Home” (ft. Common)
While the vocals on this song are all from Common, this re-working of “Home is Where the Hatred Is” appeared as an interlude on West’s second album, Late Registration. Gil’s work has been a major inspiration for Kanye, not only as a source for samples but as a legitimate collaborator (West even performed at Heron’s memorial service).
Vernon and Kamau (appropriately) mention Common as a current day rapper who carries on Heron’s spirit, but I would go as far as to say Kanye fits that bill more than anyone. People who don’t really listen to Kanye’s music will disagree, but just like Gil Scott-Heron, he’s an artist who is honest to a fault about his experiences as a black man in America in a way that almost no one else has.
Gil Scott-Heron – “The Bottle” and “Winter in America”
Form 1974′s Winter in America album: as Vernon mentioned, people knew by then that Heron had issues with substance but that didn’t stop him from trying to steer the rest of the community away from his mistakes.
Kanye West – “Lost in the World/Who Will Survive in America”
The closer from West’s most recent album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy finds him bringing Bon Iver, Alicia Keys, Charlie Wilson (of the Gap Band) and Elly Jackson (of La Roux) together with Gil Scott-Heron’s “Comment No. 1″ from Small Talk at 125 & Lenox. The version of the poem used for the song is somewhat amended from the original so make sure to check that out as well.