A year on since Gil Scott-Heron prematurely passed away, Benji B celebrates the life of the musician, song-writer, poet, novelist and major-influencer of what we now know as hip-hop.
As an artist who is recognised as one of the first to pen rhymes over beats and speak about themes of injustice and social commentary through song, Gil Scott-Heron has impacted much of what we hear on 1Xtra today, and has been sampled and name-checked by the likes of Kanye West, Common and Nas. Lifelong fan of Gil, Benji B, goes back to Gil’s beginnings and learns the story behind one of the most innovative and influential artists of all time, with contributions from Jamie XX, Speech Debelle, Shabazz Palaces, Jehst, DELS, Richard Russell, Mos Def, KRS-One, Chuck D and more.
Shortly before Gil passed away, he gained a whole new set of fans when Jamie XX remixed Gil’s I’m New Here album – Jamie’s version of the track I’ll Take Care Of You became a major hit on dancefloors around the UK and, in turn, was taken up by Drake and Rihanna for chart success. Jamie shares his experience of working on the album and why Gil’s music means so much to him. To understand why one of the UK’s most influential young producers felt so privileged to work with ‘the man himself’, Benji B goes back in time to learn Gil’s story.