Jill Scott’s Summer Block Party

Last night, Jill Scott lit D.C. on fire!  Her Summer Block Party proved to be a fantastic show. Salt-n-Pepa opened to show and their mic sounded nice. They make 40 something look good, and the old school hip-hop duo routine is timeless. They rocked it.

Kem’s lovers (and haters) were swooning because whether you like him or not, he brought a great set. A few yawns during his ballads no doubt, but you can’t help but think that the only reason he didn’t take home Grammy’s in 2010 is because they count all Black artists in the R&B category when frankly, many of them are pop artists. For example, how on early could Usher’s “There Goes My Baby” be worthy of a Grammy? There was no way anyone could have listened to Usher’s Raymond v. Raymond and thought that was an R&B album. It was a pop album, and its electro-pop “More” is really as much proof as I need. At any rate, I’m not a huge fan of Kem, but that brother can sing and has some serious roots in the Detroit, rhythm and blues tradition. I should mention that his background singers had a set of extraordinary pipes tackling a short Motown set which included covers of The Emotions “The Best of My Love” and Earth, Wind, and Fire’s “Can’t Hide Love” and some Chaka Khan and Rufus.

Old school hip hop has aged gracefully, as gracefully as Doug E. Fresh, the original human beatbox, who hosted the Block Party. He looked great and was the perfect party maestro. Paying his homage to the incredible Chuck Brown, the whole building shook like the go-go when Doug E. played “Wind Me Up!” and other Chuck Brown classics. In fact, he brought us out of our seats in between each set and in he and Jill Scott’s performance of “All Cried Out” only makes you appreciate his freakish beatbox talent more fully.

Ms. Jill Scott:  This was unequivocally her show. She was funny, she was deep, she was mellow, she had the sexy thing down, she looked fantastic and her show was amazing. There’s not much else that needs to be said other than: if you ever get the chance, go see her live.

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