Gil Scott Heron, “the godfather of rap,” died Friday evening at a New York City hospital. A publicist for the 62-year-old poet, musician and author made the announcement via Twitter.
Scott-Heron best know for his 1974 compilation album, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, is credited with being an inspiration for rap music. In the late 1960s and 1970 the Chicago native gained notoriety by setting his poetry to the sounds of rhythmic jazz music. The socially conscious message and infectious beats would influence an ensuing generation of wordsmiths who would contribute to the birth of hip-hop.
The poet’s work has been sampled by hip hop luminaries like Dr. Dre, Common and Mos Def. More recently, Kanye West sampled Scott-Heron's voice for his 2010 album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, on the track “Who Will Survive In America.”
The hip hop community took to Twitter to express their condolence for the admired poet. Brooklyn rapper Taib Kweli who has worked with Scott-Heron in the past tweeted, “wow. The rest of my night going to listen to Gil Scott Heron. We love you brother. We will miss you. RIP.”