Gil Scott-Heron Returns With ‘I’m New Here’ After 15 Year Hiatus
Gil Scott-Heron is about as a big of a hip-hop forefather as it gets. His eclectic mixture of spoken word and soul crooning over tight funk, hard beats and melodic horns was most popular in the early 1970s when Scott-Heron released ‘Pieces of a Man’ and ‘Winter in America.’ Bearing tracks like the socially-conscious ‘The Revolution Will Not be Televised,’ the two albums help define the hip-hop that we know today.
Unfortunately, like many of our greatest performers, Scott-Heron fell on some really hard times. He spent the Aughts in and out of jail and hadn’t recorded an album since 1994’s ‘Spirits.’ Now XL Recordings has given him what many are calling the “Johnny Cash treatment.” With a slew of covers and new material over simple abstract beats, Scott-Heron has turned inward on a fantastic new record entitled ‘I’m New Here.’
Notably, the record opens and concludes with the artist performing a sort of proto-rap spoken word over a hazed out version of the introduction to Kanye West‘s ‘Flashing Lights’. This nods at Kanye’s prominent Scott-Heron sample on ‘My Way Home’ off of 2005’s ‘Late Registration.’ That track also features a tribute in Common‘s verse, which is delivered in Scott-Heron’s distinctive style.
On ‘I’m New Here,’ the introduction and conclusion is called ‘On Coming From a Broken Home’. Scott-Heron discusses both the destructive and positive aspects of being raised by a single mom with an absentee father. He praises the strong women in his life, yet tries to explore how his broken home caused so much negative behavior throughout the years.
A stream of ‘I’m New Here’ is available here.