Legendary spoken-word musician Gil Scott-Heron died over the weekend at the age of 62. A memorial service has been scheduled for 10:30 a.m. tomorrow at Riverside Church; there will also be a public viewing from 6-9 p.m. at Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home at 81st Street and Madison Avenue.
Scott-Heron's music was known for its mix of minimalist percussion, often anchored by long-time collaborator pianist Brian Jackson, and highly expressive lyrics, a blend of poetry and politics which critiqued the superficiality of modern America, and chronicled inner-city living and "black America." Because of all that, he was often referred to as the "Godfather of Rap," a title he was more than a bit uncomfortable with; but as Pitchfork pointed out, he was influential upon, sampled by, or collaborated with many of the biggest rap stars of the last 20 years. Below, you can listen to "New York Is Killing Me" from his final album, last year's excellent I'm New Here: