Anticipating a new album fifteen years after his last release, Gil Scott-Heron gives an interview to The Guardian recalling Rikers Island and his white English fans. "'People keep saying I disappeared,' the singer tells me, laughing heartily, when I speak to him. 'Well, that's a gift I didn't know I had. You ever see someone disappear? That makes me a superhero, right?'
The humour, though, conceals a great deal of heartbreak and an epic struggle with addiction, both of which are referred to obliquely on his raggedly brilliant version of Robert Johnson's 'Me and the Devil' on the new album. 'Early this mornin', when you knocked upon my door', he sings, 'And I said, 'Hello, Satan, I believe it's time to go.' Though Gil Scott-Heron insists he did not disappear, that he kept playing club gigs in America and did the occasional tour, that he was writing, if not recording, the news that kept on filtering back from his long winter in America was always bleak."