Gil Scott Heron, who rejected the tag as the original hip hop artist, died on Friday afternoon. He had fallen ill while on tour.  This video, which gives a good overview of Scott-Heron’s life, is from a 2009 BBC Newsnight feature.  Part 2 is below.

See also the 2004 documentary “The Godfather of Soul” as well as the 2010 New Yorker article on Scott-Heron’s drug addiction.

As a bonus, here’s my favorite Scott-Heron tune: