words by Brigitte Kiepert
American artist and poet, Gil Scott-Heron passed away on Friday, May 27th. In many eyes, he was thought of as the grandfather of rap and a drug-addled radical by others. Releasing thirteen albums from 1970, he was a true pioneering artist. After years of hiatus, Scott-Heron released, I’m New Here in 2010 (XL Recordings). Head of XL Recordings, Richard Russell, had the brilliant idea to take, I’m New Here and have it remixed by none other than The xx’s percussionist, Jamie Smith. (If you are unfamiliar with The xx, please take the time to listen, you will not be disappointed). The album, full of bass-y, beat-orientated and minimalist synths, was released February 21, 2011 and undoubtedly, has received strong reviews. Check out the two tracks (“NY Is Killing Me” in the video, above and “Running”, below the break) — settling on one was a decision I just could not make — and hear it for yourself. RIP Gil Scott-Heron.