Monday, September 27, 2010

New York City is killing Gil Scott-Heron

You can get lost in New York City.

Lost in the architecture, the whirl of taxi cabs, the sprawling parks. You can find solace in both the plaid red table cloth in a Times Square steakhouse and the slow drip of water as it falls onto the rat infested subway tracks on a drizzly fall day.

The new video by Gil Scott-Heron displays the darkness of this city, through the lens of a man begging to escape its madness.

In a places like Staten Island, technically part of NYC, there are more trees per capita, by any informal analysis, than other areas of the metropolis. But its polar opposite could be a ferry and subway fare away, in Harlem, where Gil Scott-Heron is holed up in his dark apartment, watching old boxing videos and sucking on a glass pipe.

The man who made a '60s counter-culture slogan with one poetic line -- 'The revolution will not be televised' -- is seen in this Chris Cunningham video, fading in and out of black along with his poetry, as the roar of a subway car alludes a man trapped by the bridges, elevated trains, and skyscrapers that surround him.

The New Yorker piece written about the artist recently reads more like a premature obituary. But whether the Big Apple, or crack, is killing him, Scott-Heron is still here - trapped in New York City with the rest of us.

Gil Scott-Heron "New York Is Killing Me" 

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