Monday, April 8, 2013

Jackin' Jill by Substantial

Cover art for Jackin' Jill was drawn by Substantial
      Before I get into the album review, I want to post the back story of this album which is truly amazing:

"Back in 2011 Baltimore emcee Substantial was facing the possibility of cancer. He ended up having preventive surgery and while laid up, decided to start working on a tribute album to Jill Scott, one of his biggest influences. It was his was of staying busy while healing, and at the same time to give the people their roses while they can still smell them. The result is a free project Substantial calls "Jackin' Jill" - a tribute project from Substantial built by "Jackin" music from various Jill Scott releases. This collection of reworks and remixes of her work blended by DJ Jav form a cohesive pseudo collaboration focused on life, love & music."
-Mello Music Group

Jackin'n Jill by Substantial drops on April 9th and this amazing album is a unique tribute to the extremely talented artist Jill Scott. This album shows me how versatile Substantial is, after just putting out the one of my favorite albums, Home Is Where The Art Is, a little over 6 months ago. I love hearing real instruments behind on a hip/hop record, it really shows me that there is still real music being made out there, and Jackin' Jill is loaded with guitars, pianos, and drums. This album is a full 17 track classic that really gets you grooving. The really cool thing about this album is the song placement. Usually where a track goes on the cd is minor, but for this one it plays a big role when listening to it. The first half of the album is just as fun as it can be with few really deep songs. Tracks like BBQ(Family Reunion), remind me of simpler times just hanging out with the family and you can't help but to smile and reminisce while listening to it. One of my favorite tracks on the album is, Hate On Me, which is the 5th track of 17, and it starts of with an excerpt from The Chapelle Show on the skit of Player Haters Ball. On, Hate On Me, Substantial talks about all his haters in a fun, and enjoyable way as opposed to the usual cursing and "diss hater" tracks from other rappers. On The back half of the album, Substantial slows it down a bit by incorporating some deeper, more meaningful songs to remixes of Jill Scott's finest tunes. Whenever You're Around, is the 9th track on the cd and it is a really calm and soothing song that features the very talented, fast-spitting artist, Javier Starks. This track particularly stood out to me because it showed the vocal beauty of Jill Scott and how two similar genres of music can clash and make really good music. One of the best songs on this album is, Golden Lady, which picks up the pace, and is a wonderful remix to the Stevie Wonder track, also titled Golden Lady . Also, for those who bought, Home Is Where The Art Is, then you remember the song Make Up Sex right? Well, its back on Jackin' Jill, only this time its been remixed with a smoother chorus, and what sounds to me to be a live band! In all I have zero negative things to say about this album, I'm not calling it album of the year, but it is an awesome project put together by Substantial. Jackin' Jill is the definition of a good hip-hop record its just a lot of fun to listen to. This is what hip-hop used to, and should be like, and for bringing live instruments and dope lyrics on  every track, I applaud you Substantial! Now go get this album!!

*Jackin' Jill drops 4/9 and will be available for FREE download at

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Created in 2013, The Under-Cover Album Review strives to bring the world quality music, by quality artists. This motto will continue to be our foundation as we move forward in time.

-Vinny Sciascia, Creator & Operator