21. I'm New Here
Best Of 2010 Albums - Gil Scott Heron

Living a life fast enough for fi ve men, Gil Scott-Heron went AWOL for a decade in relentless bouts of homelessness, addictions, severe illness and federal jail terms. It’s prison where XL founder Richard Russell tracked him down, and a quick eye-balling suggested an intergalactic collaboration would bear rich fruit: “He brings this extraordinary energy with him,” explains Russell. “This natural, God-given ability to perform, to tell it like it is. The words just seem to fl ow out of him.” Recorded in fi ts and starts, the result was a charged, futuristic landscape of wonky hip-hop with Gil’s channelled, weathered and fundamental spoken word bobbing brightly to show that forty years of protest still aint enough.

Best Bit: Gil’s soul somersaulting over the freshest of rhythmic structures.


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