Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My New Progressive Hero

I love happening upon anything musically, poetically, or artistically that I find intriguing and invokes thought within me.  Often times, I find some sort of inspiration from it, whether it be just to journal , take pictures,  or even just a change of opinion or thought I may have previously had on any given subject matter.  But there are those special artists that the universe, blesses us with from time that I wish I would have gotten to meet in person or that I existed in the time that they did, just to experience the sentiment of their audiences and the raw inner-g that said artists evoked.  The commonality and fortunately for me and others who appreciate true talent is that these artists and their music, poetry, art or what ever vehicle they choose to manifest their message through are timeless. 
     Gil Scott Heron is one such artist.  I'm almost ashamed to admit, that I only happened upon Gil Scott Heron, maybe four to five years ago.  But I became familiar with his work and became a fan immediately. In his transition,  (rip)  I've been researching him further and have come to find that regardless of his personal struggles, he stayed true to his message and his passion.  One can only respect that.  I'm finding that in his ugly struggle with addiction, there was a transparent beauty and truth still in his work. "Home is Where the Hatred Is" is a testament to his willingness to reveal his harsh reality. The intriguing thing about that song for me, is that lyrically, I took it is a plea for help.  As a listener, that plea invoked compassion within me and I think that in and of itself is the beauty in Gil Scott's music and poetry.  It incites very human feelings of desire to help even though you may not be personally connected.   In the world we live in now, we need more of this. That is to say, more compassion and desire is needed to uplift our communities.  Even his more political songs served as a platform for us to awaken to the social ills at the time that we were in fact connected to.
     Recently, I've read about ten different interviews he did throughout the years, and came to find he is quite the comedian as well.  Gil Scott found irony in life's battles, and learned to laugh and even celebrate them.  A lesson, I think at some point we can all use to get through our personal road blocks.  He came across in his interviews as a humble spirit, who simply recognized his talent and was unapologetic for who he was.  Now in his transition, I wonder what his obituary reads. I can only imagine good things.  
    I believe Gil Scott Heron had very profound, straightforward messages that more of our people need to be awakened to as they are still very relevant in our current times .  He was not the best singer, but his music and message still resonated. In my book, that is a true artist.  I  have not yet listened to his latest album, but I'm glad that I am now even more familiar with his work and view  him as another hero on my list of "progressives".  As a side note, I found out he was a vegetarian at one point, so he definitely wins some cool points there :).  May he rest in peace.

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