Gil Scott-Heron – New York is Killing Me
It’s been a week since I’ve updated this site. Some might take that as a sign that I’m not as committed to the thankless art of blogging as I made myself out to be. The truth is simpler. This past week I relocated from Boston to New York. That’s right. I packed my stuff in a surprisingly small amount of space, took one final stroll through the Fenway-Kenmore neighborhood, and turned my back on the city that was my home for four years. I’m now located in the Upper East Side of what some have called the Greatest City on the Earth. It’s almost exhilarating.
See, part of this sweet location deal involves my moving back in with my parents. Which is fine – they’re fantastic folks – but right now my priorities have shifted 100% towards finding employment, getting a job, and moving out. Since I need one more class credit to get my degree, and I need a degree to get most well paying jobs, I interviewed at a Starbucks. My immediate plan for the future involves brewing coffee for minimum wage. I take comfort in the fact that I’m still relatively young, but there’s something somber about being in a city of culture and opportunity, and asserting yourself into it’s lowest ranks.
If you’re like me, Gil Scott-Heron is somebody you’ve heard about, but never actually listened to. You might have heard ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’, but you never knew that song was by him. He’s a legend in the music world – the ‘Godfather of Rap’ – a poet/songwriter, an artist worthy of automatic, unconscious respect, but not exactly likely to pop up as the next track on shuffle. Today’s track comes from his last album – one that came after an extended hiatus. It finds Gil near the end of his life, looking back on his career and his music, meditating melancholy on his place in the world. This particular song seemed appropriate, since it has New York in the title and isn’t a loving ode to this million-strong stranger society.