Who inspires me: Gil Scott-Heron

Posted on: 18th October 2011

Hello fellow Body & Soul blog fans!

I volunteer here at Body & Soul as part of my school program in the USA. First off, I’m a HUGE fan of music. Here’s a taste of someone that has inspired me through his music. So we’re off then!

Gil Scott-Heron has been known as many things but to me “The Godfather of Rap” rings most true. Gil Scott-Heron was an American soul and jazz-poet, who has influenced me greatly. Many times Heron’s lyrical content had to do with the social and political issues of the 70’s and 80’s. Speaking through his music, he explored and vocalised what bothered him and what he believed needed to be changed. This spoken poetry, jazz, funk, and soul has always resonated with me.

Not until I started my volunteering with Body & Soul did I find out that he was HIV+. Heron was a spokesperson for many of the social issues of his time, just like Body & Soul is about HIV. They are closely related in more then one way. Tragically, Heron passed away this past May. His legacy will live on forever through the messages in his music.

Take a listen to Gil Scott-Heron’s recent compilation with the London based producer Jamie xx – “Running” is off the album “We’re New Here”.

We’d love to hear about people who’ve inspired you – maybe because they have refused to follow the crowd, and challenged the normal way of thinking, maybe they have motivated you. Maybe listen to Teen Spirit talking about inspiration on Transmission Radio to give you a few ideas.

Can you relate to any of the lyrics in the song “Running”?

I’m looking forward to hearing who has impacted your life. Let me know what you all think!


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