Throwback: Happy 73rd Birthday, Gil Scott-Heron!

It’s Aries season, y’all! And the month or so of the astrological sign is busy and auspicious for music history:

It seems that I somehow forgot about the legendary Gil Scott-Heron, who was born 73 years ago on April 1. Scott-Heron is sort of a spiritual godfather to hip-hop and neo soul — and cognoscenti (including yours truly) can make a fair argument that acts like Public Enemy, Common, Talib Kweli and Mos Def, a.k.a Yasin Bey are indebted to his work, which threw together spoken word poetry, jazz, the blues, soul and rock in a difficult to pigeonhole mix. And although he left us 11 years ago, his work is still an incisive look at race in America and globally that’s still unnervingly relevant.