I know what you are thinking: He looks like hell.
Crack and AIDS will do that to you.
As Allen Ginsberg so aptly put it:
I saw the best minds of my generation
destroyed by madness,
starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn
looking for an angry fix,
burning for the ancient heavenly connection
to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,
who poverty and tatters
and hollow-eyed and high
sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness
of cold-water flats
floating across the tops of cities
who bared their brains to Heaven under the El
and saw Mohammedan angels
staggering on tenement roofs illuminated,
who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes
hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy
among the scholars of war...
Allen Ginsberg knew Gil Scott-Heron, even though I do not think they ever met.
Gil Scott-Heron: April 1, 1949 – May 27, 2011.