A great composer and performer, a recognized novelist, who had a weakness for coke, and apparently not getting proper HIV meds from his halfway house, left, and thus found himself in jail of late, entirely too often, entirely too long. This didn't help. 62 years old...he helped create rap, did impressive jazz-pop, and wrote incisive lyrics even after life had torn up his voice. Rest in glory.
I saw him and his concert band once, at George Mason University, in 1989. Brilliant set.
"Lady Day and John Coltrane"
From the Wikipedia page:
In the liner notes [for his first album, Small Talk at 125th and Lennox], Scott-Heron acknowledged as influences Richie Havens, John Coltrane, Otis Redding, Jose Feliciano, Billie Holiday, Langston Hughes, Malcolm X, Huey Newton, Nina Simone, and the pianist who would become his long-time collaborator, Brian Jackson.
"Johannesburg" in concert
"Home Is Where the Hatred Is"
"Winter in America"
"Message to the Messengers"
"I Think I'll Call It Morning"
brief interview, about "...Televised"