Consider this your weekend reading assignment: The New Yorker's "The unlikely survival of Gil Scott-Heron" article from 2010.
When I first began visiting Scott-Heron, he would leave the room at intervals and go into his bathroom. The next time I went to his apartment, he went into his kitchen and a stream of smoke drifted out. One day, I turned around, and he had his crack pipe to his lips, and after that he didn’t bother to leave the room anymore. Sometimes he would fall asleep in the middle of an interview, and I would excuse myself.
The Alex Wilkinson article is no longer behind the magazine's pay wall and it's a devastating piece on the final years of Scott-Heron, his reluctance to be involved in hiphop, and the demons that still haunted him.
Get the best of the Mercury each week in your inbox!