(Un)Familiar Places

It only seemed like 2000 was the year of Limp Bizkit, Eminem, and Britney. Music of subtlety and substance was indeed made. This was some of it:

Jill Scott has twice stopped me in my tracks. The videos for "Gettin' In the Way" and "A Long Walk" depict Scott—big, brown, beautiful—as an earthy, arty queen of her Philadelphia neighborhood. That is, just the opposite of everything MTV has become (gangsta millionaires, blondes with abs, yawn-inducing riff-rock). The art and soul of Philly permeate Scott's songs. Along with the Roots and Jazzyfatnastees, Scott is re-inventing and re-invigorating Philly soul, plus the stale conventions of jazz, hip-hop, and R&B. Who Is Jill Scott? That was my thought, as well as her album's title. Her primary concern is the word made flesh and all the shocks that flesh is heir to. Kind of the way a future reverend named Al Green was concerned—as well as Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, and their disciple Prince.

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Sojourners Magazine May-June 2001
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