Every day leading up to Valentine’s Day this year, The Key is recapping 14 songs that scream “love” just as strongly as they scream “Philly.” The Essential Love Songs of Philadelphia continues with “A Long Walk” from Jill Scott’s 2000 album Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol. 1.
Last fall, Jill Scott broke the internet (as folks like to say), when a YouTube video went viral showing the Philadelphia singer, songwriter, and poet onstage and imitating oral sex using her microphone as an apropos prop. While there was much pearl-clutching among casual listeners who maybe gravitated towards the wholesome facade of her music, longtime fans pointed out that Jilly from Philly has always celebrated sexuality in her art — with Questlove’s take, as usual, being the best: “Lol at y’all Jill Scott newbies. Y’all thought she was incense and sandals huh?”
But why is this even a choice? Why can’t Scott be a proud sexual being as well as somebody who revels in the simple things in life and love, like commitment and devotion? Let’s go back to her first album Who Is Jill Scott: Words and Sounds Vol. 1 and one of her first big hits to see how both things coexist.