Scene4 Magazine-Lia Beachy
Scene4 Magazine-Lia Beachy

august 2006

Introducing Jill Scott

I am not afraid to be your lady
I am not afraid to be your whore
I am not afraid to be your future
I am not afraid to be your soil
In which you plant your seed
Flowers, they sprout from me
My fragrance in the breeze
You must nurture me please
(excerpt from I'm Not Afraid)

Jill Scott is a poet who sets her words to rhythms. Her words touch upon a classic feeling, a night in an Irving Berlin romance or a Cole Porter party. I don't compare her to the great jazz songwriters of America in terms of song-crafting, because the melodies don't linger like Porter's Night and Day or Gershwin's Summertime. But her words, her glorious and striking thoughts, are what set her apart from so much of the other "bump and grind" shallow R& B fluff that pervades the airwaves.

Feeling the way I do
It's hard to keep focus
One minute staring at the moon
Next into your eyes
And it's no surprise
That my knees weaken
At the lovely words you're speaking
(excerpt from Spring Summer Feeling)

She has described herself as a poor black girl from the rough streets of Philadelphia. This is a very different experience from my own childhood of middle class normality in Chicago and San Francisco. She easily sings about the many facets of life, at times infusing her experience of poverty and the hardships of growing up as a black woman in America, but most of her songs are odes to the labyrinth of love. Love is her favorite theme. The theme of the universe. And when she sings of love she strikes a loud chord.

He was fresh like summer peaches
Sweet on my mind like block parties and penny candy
Us was nice and warm
No jacket no umbrella
Just warm
At night we would watch the stars
and he would physically give me each and every one
I felt like cayenne pepper
Red hot spicy
I felt Dizzy and Sonya, heaven and Miles
between my thighs
Better than love
We made delicious
He me had
Had me he
he had me tongue tied
I could hear his rhythm in my thoughts
I was his "sharp, his horn section, his
boom and his bip"
And he was my love
Love rain down on me
On me down on me
(excerpt from Love Rain)

She is a woman who sings about being a woman. She expresses the subtleties of feelings, the complexity of moods, the strength and beauty of female sensuality and power. She conveys a way of being and feeling for a woman of my generation. The unbridled passion that is constantly fighting to live on the surface when society dictates either media objectification or a tamer and more reserved stance for the female population. The rich intelligence striving to be heard amongst the lowest common denominator. The goddess who lives on earth and understands all her strength and weaknesses.

The warmth of her lyrics, the precision of her words, are what make Jill Scott a magnetic force.

Still Here

I am a boisterous river
I am a mountains story
I am a quiet healing
I am a fragrant flower
I am a moonlit evening
I am a peaceful nod
I am a writer's thinking
I am a wealth unfathomed
And if you don't recognize my presence
I am here
And if you don't recognize me
I am here
I am a source of power
I am excited journey
I am a rock of patience
I am a whisper singing
I am unbraided freedom
I am the thought for blinking
I am a love unshattered
I am the great orgasm

Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds, Vol. 1
Beautifully Human: Words and Sounds, Vol.2

The Moments, the Minutes, the Hours: The Poetry of Jill Scott

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About This Article

©2006 Lia Beachy
©2006 Publication Scene4 Magazine

Lia Beachy is a writer in Los Angeles
For more of her articles, check the



Scene4 Magazine-International Magazine of Performing Arts and Media

august 2006

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