Tox Tunes #48: Angel Dust (Gil Scott-Heron)

August 28, 2011, 12:29 pm

Gil Scott-Heron (1949 – 2011) was often called the godfather of rap, but invariably objected to that description: “I don’t know if I can take the blame for it” he told one interviewer. There is no doubt, however, that his work in the 1970s prefigured rap and hip hop. “Angel dust” is a street term for phencyclidine (PCP), a major drug problem when this song came out in 1971.

Scott-Heron died on May 27 of this year at the age of 62 after becoming ill during a European tour. Ironically, despite the power of “Angel Dust” as an anti-drug song, Scott-Heron was plagued during his later years with drug problems, and was in jail several times on charges related to cocaine possession and parole violations.

To read his New York Times obituary, click here.

[Thanks to DoseNation for reminding me of this great cut.]

Scott-Heron’s most famous song is probably “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”:

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