THE MIND OF GIL SCOTT-HERON (Rumal-Gia/TVT) Rating: NNNN
Classics like The Bottle and The Revolution Will Not Be Televised remind us that despite his recent run-ins with crack rocks and live shows that don't happen, Gil Scott-Heron was one of the sharpest and funniest MCs on the planet. Still, it's his poetry that hits hardest, a point reinforced by this overdue reissue of his classic all-poetry album.
Some of the material on The Mind Of Gil Scott-Heron is almost 30 years old, and topics like Watergate, Attica and the overthrow of Salvador Allende are old history, but even now Scott-Heron's mid-70s analyses of the subjects are no less biting. He plays with words and reshapes phrases to fit his agenda, taking searing swipes at Nixon, the CIA and the calendar while his Midnight Band rattle congas and tambourines behind him. It's laugh-out-loud funny but also deadly serious, Scott-Heron's best work by far.