Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Songs for Social Justice: Gil Scott-Heron - A Message to the Messengers

Speaking ahead of the Songs for Social Justice Festival on Thursday, SweetS (Northern Xposure) said, “Music has always been at the heart of many civil rights movements and revolutions, and it also acts as a vehicle for different cultures and faiths to have some common ground. It is something that reaches so far into our very being and existence that it resonates with each and every one of us on a profound level, indeed even before we can say our A, B, C, D we find it is easier to communicate with a harmony or a bit of melody.  Therefore it is NRNXPO's mission to promote music for social justice in all form's and across all genre's.”

Rap and Hip Hop started out in the 1970’s as a way of communicating a social and political message while having a good time.

Gil Scott-Heron is often credited with being the Godfather of Rap, he was rapping to music by 1970, some time before Kool Herc and Afrika Bambaataa created Hip Hop as a means of bringing communities together, offering young people a route out of gangs and encouraging social harmony.

Gil Scott-Herons’ lyrics focussed on the social and political issues of the time. His music still resonates today and he can still find a new fan-base amongst young people. His 2010 album I’m New Here, was remixed by Jamie Smith of The XX and released in 2011 as We’re New Here.

It is difficult to choose just the one track from Scott-Heron’s extensive, educational and inspiring output, obvious choices would be The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, The Bottle or Johannesburg. However, today’s choice comes from his 1994 album Spirits. A Message to the Messengers calls on rappers, musicians and young people to remember their history and heritage and use this knowledge and understanding to promote positive social change.

Gil Scott-Heron - A Message to the Messengers

Songs for Social Justice Dance Night featuring guest DJ Jerry Dammers -
o      Thursday 26th January
o      STUC Centre, 333 Woodlands Road, Glasgow
o      6.45pm – midnight
o      Tickets £8/£4 - Available direct from the STUC - 0141 337 8100

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