Kanye West Performs at Gil Scott-Heron Memorial

Yesterday (June 2), Kanye West performed his track “Lost in the World” in tribute to Gil Scott-Heron at the poet and musician’s memorial service. The Chicago spitter appeared at Harlem’s Riverside Church to give a rendition of the popular track which includes a sample of Heron’s recorded poem, “Who Will Survive in America”.

Often celebrated in rap for his politically-charged spoken word pieces, Heron died last Friday (May 27) after contracting an illness during a recent trip to Europe.

While West has been an avid supporter of the poet’s work, other rappers have also stepped up to pay homage, including Lupe Fiasco (who wrote a poem based on Heron’s “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”) and Common.

“Gil Scott-Heron was one of the greatest artists to ever walk the earth,” Common said. “The soul of his music touched my heart and spirit. His voice and his words and his songs were like the revolution being told in the freshest way. He is a true father of hip hop and he will always be cherished and loved.”

A second funeral service will be held tomorrow (June 4) at Manhattan’s Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home located at 81st Street and Madison Ave from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m —Nicole LoPresti