How much is Jill Scott worth?
|Net Worth:||$12 Million|
|Date of Birth:||April 4, 1972|
|Country:||United States of America|
“When I was growing up, my mother would take me to plays and museums and we’d talk about life. Those times helped shape who I became. Lately I’ve been going to all these high schools talking to the students, answering their questions, listening to what they have to say. It has been an incredible journey to be around them and try to give them what my mother gave me.” – Jill Scott.
Who Is Jill Scott
Jill Scott was born April 4, 1972 in north Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
‘The Light of the Sun’
On her fourth studio album, The Light of the Sun, singer and poetess Jill Scott solidifies her status as one of the more talented performers in all of R&B;, while at the same time expanding the parameters of her distinctive style. Light of the Sun, released in the U.S. on June 21, 2011 is a very adventurous album musically; in addition to her usual R&B;/Soul and spoken word styles, she also offers up a healthy dose of modern-day hip-hop attitude, old-school rap sonics and even Broadway play-style vocals. The results aren’t always perfect, but they’re still better than the vast majority of the other music made today.
Sometimes when Jill Scott sings, you can practically see a wide, pleasant grin covering her face. And this is definitely the case on the opening track on The Light of the Sun, “So Blessed,” where she vocalizes about how glad she is to be fortunate enough to have a happy life and beautiful family: “I woke up in the morning feelin’ fresh to death, I’m so blessed, yes-yes/I went to bed stressed, woke up refreshed, I’m so blessed, yes-yes.” The song, which is bristling with positive energy, is a prime example of why Jill is so popular with her wide and devoted fanbase. And so is the following song, “So In Love,” a beautiful, fun and romantic duet with another of R&B;/Soul’s most talented modern-day vocalists, Anthony Hamilton.
But after the opening couple of tracks, the album becomes more experimental musically, flirting with rap and hip-hop, mostly. The most obvious evidence of this is the single “Shame,” which features the rapper Eve and singers The A Group. The braggadocious song, which samples the song “I’m the Magnificent” by late ’80s/early ’90s rapper Special Ed, is an ode to positive self images and a kiss-off to people who don’t know what they’re missing. “I can stand on my own, I’m the magnificent,” she sings. “I’m a queen on a throne, I’m magnificent.”
Softer, More Tender
The self-confident nature that Jill displays on “Shame” and other tracks doesn’t run through the full album, however. She manages to display her softer, more tender side throughout the album’s latter tracks, and particularly the nine-minute “Le BOOM Vent Suite,” a sensual track where she sings about needing to be held and loved. “Tired of being strong all day,” she sings at one point. “Hear My Call,” a Broadway-style letter to God, and the brief song “Quick” are also winners, particularly the latter, where she sings about a broken relationship, most likely the one with her son’s father, which lasted less than two years and ended two months after the child was born: “I loved ya, I really loved ya, I can’t believe that it’s over, I can’t believe that we would ever split.”
Although much of the album’s experimentation clicks, not all of it is on point. Particularly, “All Cried Out Redux,” which features human beatbox Doug E. Fresh, is disjointed; Doug E.’s vocal fireworks don’t mesh well with Jill’s smooth voice, which doesn’t match the sad lyrics. And “So Gone (What My Mind Says)” is an odd collaboration between Jill and Houston rapper Paul Wall. But although The Light of the Sun has a few clunkers that prevent it from being a consistent, quality listen all the way though, it’s still easily one of the better releases of 2011.
‘From the Vault. Vol. 1’
Just a little over two and a half months after Jill Scott released her fourth studio album, The Light of the Sun, she’s back with another project, The Original Jill Scott: from the Vault, Vol. 1, which comes out in the U.S. on Aug. 30, 2011. But unlike Light of the Sun, which was released through Warner Bros. Records, The Vault is a compilation of leftover, years-old material that had been held onto by her previous label, Hidden Beach Recordings. The ironic thing is that the older songs, on the whole, are actually superior to the newer, supposedly fresher material on Light.
Quality & Depth
Earlier in 2011, when Jill Scott and Hidden Beach reached an agreement to let her out of her contract and move over to Warner Bros., one of the stipulations was that the Beach retain the right to release some of the material Jill recorded but never released during her decade-long run on the label. And although it’s not unusual for a label to put out a best-of or greatest hits package of an artist’s work once they leave a label, what’s unusual about The Vault is the quality and depth of the material. Each of the 11 tracks (14 on the deluxe version) are completely original recordings, and only one, the remake of the Bill Withers classic, “Lovely Day,” is a remake.
Anyone expecting this to be a collection of half-finished or unremarkable tracks that should have been left unreleased is in for a pleasant surprise. The Vault is at least the equal of — and perhaps even superior to — her last two studio albums. Highlights include “Running Away,” a 12-minute suite that has the sound and feel of an in-studio jam session; “I Don’t Know (Gotta Have You),” an ode to animal magnetism; the dancehall reggae-influenced “Love to Love;” and the aforementioned “Lovely Day,” which manages to put an updated spin on the classic without having to completely reinvent it.
Talent, Charm & Creativity
The most impressive thing about The Vault is that unlike it’s predecessor, The Light of the Sun, it’s an album that’s consistently good all the way good, from top to bottom. Hidden Beach managed to find the right mix of songs for this project and put them in the proper order. And instead of spreading herself thin creatively and being all over the map sonicly, this album sticks to what she does best: sing R&B; and Soul music. There’s no shoehorning of Jill’s vocals into an ill-fitting music track, here: in other words, no hip-hop tracks or rap verses. In fact, there’s no guest vocalists of any kind, and very little of her trademark spoken word poetry gets time to shine. It’s basically just a woman and her microphone, getting it done in the recording booth.
Although these songs might technically qualify as musical leftovers, by no means do they sound old or outdated; most sound like they could have been recorded last month, or even last week. It remains to be seen if Hidden Beach still has enough leftover material for a Vault Vol. 2, but it’s doubtful that if so, the quality could be as high as what’s found here. So if this is to be Jill Scott’s swan song for her old label, it fittingly displays all the talent, charm and creativity that helped propel her to stardom.
“The Real Thing”
Although there was no need to, Jill Scott proves on this album that she still is – and will likely always be – the real thing. As she’s done on all her albums before this, Jill thrills listeners with her wonderfully powerful voice and introspective and insightful lyrics. This album though, unlike its predecessors, has an almost palpable undercurrent of melancholy and/or sadness on quite a few songs, and some tracks are also very adult and erotic in nature. There’s also unimaginative Jazz production on some songs that’s bland enough to sink a lesser singer, but doesn’t completely derail The Real Thing.
If you’re expecting the album’s first single, the defiant “Hate On Me,” to be indicative of the sound and feel of Jill Scott’s The Real Thing: Words & Sounds Vol. 3, you’re in for a surprise. “Hate On Me,” an anti-negativity anthem inspired by Jill reading opinions of her on an Internet message board, is unusually uptempo and confrontational in comparison to the rest of the album’s content. The song is an island of energy and attitude surrounded by a relatively placid sea of mid-tempo and down-tempo jazz-influenced songs.
That said, the Adam Blackstone-produced “Hate On Me,” is without a doubt one of the album’s highlights, both vocally and musically. Two other songs come fairly close though; the first is title track, a guitar-riff driven tune on which Jill lays down the law:
“You gotta do right by me, it’s mandatory baby … don’t play no games, that’ll ruin thangs and that’ll make me leave ya or mistreat ya.”
The other really outstanding song is “Crown Royal,” where Jill sensuously sings about making love: “Your hands on my hips pull me right back to you/I catch that thrust, give it right back to you/In so deep I’m breathing for you/You grab my braids, arch my back high for you.”
The song is sexy and sensual without getting too explicit, and has an ethereal quality to it. The only real problem with it (other than the chorus, which sounds too much like a TV commercial) is that the song doesn’t go on longer; it clocks in at just a minute and 48 seconds. (There’s an extended version of it on the deluxe edition of the album, but we’ll get to that later in the review.)
The only real criticism of The Real Thing is the music that accompanies Jill’s words and singing. Most of the producers here (Vidal Davis, Andre Harris, the aforementioned Adam Blackstone) have worked with Jill in the past, but this time out, their contributions are, for the most part, somewhat lackluster. Of the 15 songs on the regular edition of the album, the whole middle portion of the album is bogged down by formulaic, adult contemporary jazz-lite that adds little to the album.
In all fairness though, it likely was Jilly from Philly herself who wanted to take this album in a more mature direction (the fact that she’s carrying a purse on the album cover might be a clue). Jill was going through a divorce and living with life as a newly single woman during the making of the album, so that partially explains why this album’s tone is noticibly darker than her previous albums, but some songs here really don’t gel.
On the deluxe edition of album, there’s two more songs (for a total of 17), plus a DVD containing five music videos and an interview with Jill. The two songs, “Imaginary/Crown Royal Suite,” (a reworking of the previously-mentioned Crown Royal” song); and “Rightness,” an awesome uptempo jam that probably should have been on the album’s regular edition. Of the DVD material, the music videos are your typical performance type and nothing special. The disc’s highlight is a 15-minute interview with Jill who talks about her life and songs on the album. The interview, which comes across as a private conversation with a close friend, is a must for devoted Jill fans.
Live In Paris +
In February 2008, Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Jill Scott returned with her third release in a little over a year, Live In Paris +, which follows on the heels of her September 2007 album The Real Thing: Words & Sounds Vol. 3 and her January 2007 compilation Collaborations. Although this release demonstrates that Jill is still at the top of her game vocally, there’s not enough new, or different, or thrilling here to make the CD version a must-have. But the deluxe CD/DVD combo? Ah, now that’s worth picking up.
The packaging of the CD version of concert is a little deceptive; it lists only eight songs performed by Jill live in Paris. And while that’s true, the concert is actually an hour and seven minutes long, so you definitely get a full-length concert, not just a half-hour collection of snippets or three-minute tracks. Probably the most compelling track is Jill’s soaring, eight-minute-plus version of “He Loves Me (Lyzel in E Flat),” her ode to her now ex-husband, Lyzel Williams. The only problem with the live version is that it – and other tracks on the album – are extended so much that they’re bloated by over-instrumentation.
Another problem is that most of the songs (“Whatever,” “My Petition” and “Rasool” among them) are well-known to only the most devoted Jill Scott fans. Virtually none of her hits are here, making boredom an issue. But that’s not a problem on the DVD version, which contains the same eight songs, only in video format. Also on the DVD is a four-song mini-concert recorded in October 2007 at the House of Blues in Los Angeles, plus a short documentary on Jill’s fans on the streets of Paris.
Overall, the deluxe CD/DVD version gives you far more for your money. It’s not that the regular, CD-only edition is bad, but without the visuals of the concert, the whole thing can seem meandering and unexciting. But with the added dimension of video with the songs, things become significantly more interesting. Overall, the deluxe edition may be costlier and harder to find than the regular edition of Live in Paris +, but if you’re a devoted fan of hers, it’s worth it.