Tuesday, 4 January 2011

13: Gil Scott Heron - I'm New Here

What's there to say? The man's a legend. He pretty much catalysed the concept of rap and political driven music. It's incredible that not everybody knows him. This album was a shock release (and was suspected to be a flop) but no: it is incredible, and rewarding with every listen. Unlike many legendary artists, Heron has evolved: and this evident from the outset through the use of sampling on "On Coming From a Broken Home" ('Flashing Lights' - Kanye West), and the use of minimalist beats on his reworking of the Robert Johnson song "Me and the Devil". Yet, he has retained the soul that is present on his most famous tracks (Whitey on the Moon, Brother etc). It's truly a phenomenal combination, and only came about due to XL Records founder: Richard Russell.

He deserves a medal for helping one of proto-rap's most diverse figures to make one of the albums of his career.

Key Tracks: "On Coming From a Broken Home Parts 1 + 2", "Me and the Devil", "I'm New Here".

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