If Philly poet Jill Scott is known at all, it's for writing the hook to the Roots' Grammy-winning cut You Got Me. Scott was eventually bumped from the track by Erykah Badu, but that may have been a mistake.
On her Who Is Jill Scott? debut, Scott comes off as a funkier, more organic Badu, with the earth-mama vibe replaced by some sultry growling and Sonia Sanchez's urban grit. Over jazzy, Roots-inspired tracks, Scott's half-sung, half-spoken tales steer well clear of formulaic R&B cliches. The disc slips once or twice when the vibe gets a little slick, but in a world of Thong Songs, this is pure gold. The Roots may want to release that Jill Scott version after all.