Album Rating System 4 out of 5 records
Imagine a cramped Brooklyn apartment walk-up – say in Bushwick, filled with Egyptian musk incense competing with clouds of kush. A cipher of gods and goddesses building, amongst decorated Turkish pillows and Ottoman poufs, and at the center sits the lotus flower. Nitty Scott, MC.
Scott’s debut studio album, TAOC is suspended in irony. On the surface the album title embodies the vanguard of everything that is cool, while the subject matter is everything but. Scott’s journey of self-discovery and her confrontation of her past with sexual abuse is periling, but her youthful charm makes her plight all the more admirable.
In the intro, Wanderlust, which features sitarist, Rajib Karmakar, is a gently plucked embrace of Scott’s retreat to Eastern philosophy. From the start you can envision the direction she’s headed, and it only gets better.
Behind the exterior is a ferocious MC and someone who has reverence for the craft. In each song she carefully paragraphs her verses in expressive measure. I’m talking about bars! Meaningful content. No filler. No wasted space.
In Apex, featuring TDE artist, Ab-Soul, she spits in multi-syllabic fashion, “More dread from warheads/They want the poor dead, but I fed the universe on my forehead/And did this happen beforehand?/Now face it, they just basically erasing them glitches up in the matrix/Always thought the term Black Magic was kinda racist/And I have yet to find intelligent basis for the hatred/Attracting and deflecting a core of my star portals/Ain’t it gorgeous to be mortal?/I couldn’t be more cordial.”
My personal favorite song is Lilly of the Valley featuring Sene. The song drowns the listener with the churchy-feel of the Hammond organ, and reflective-keys that faintly resemble Communism from Common’s 1994 Resurrection album. What really makes the song cool is that she vicariously tells a story through a fictional character – who could be any young lady in this world, that details the savage-beauty and emptiness that comes with life in the fast lane.
Though there are songs that make you bounce like, Pyrexx Pink and Feng Shui, her more socially conscious tracks that tackle her past and celebrate her reforming future, like Lilly of the Valley, Gone Girl, and Still I Rise, featuring Stacy Barthe, are the staples of this album.
What’s most intriguing is that Scott manages to brave her issues with a peculiar composure and a lotus flower-gravitas, that can only come from someone who owns their past. The Art Of Chill is more than just an album of lyrics and dope beats, it’s Scott’s ministry.
© Copyright Eddie Savoy Bailey III, 2014
Written by: Eddie Bailey of The Savoy Media Group