Two of the best young voices we’ve got, international soul queen Adele and candid funky princess Katy B, went to high school together. There, Adele turned Katy on to soul singers—in interviews, Katy mentions Jill Scott as a source of inspiration. Now, after almost four years out of the studio, the 39-year-old, Scott is set to release a new album. The video for “Shame,” the abandoned first single now replaced by “So In Love,” a collaboration with Anthony Hamilton, was shot at North Philly’s Cecil B. Moore Recreation Center. Scott learned to swim there, fell off the jungle gym, went to camp and ate free lunches. When she heard the center was closing down, she rallied her Blues Babe Foundation (which assists college-bound students of color) and kept the place open, sponsoring a new roof and gym floor. At the center of the re-vamped basketball court, Scott re-introduces herself not as a spotlight subject, but as a woman who grew into herself thanks to a whole lot of folks. Black Thought’s there, Eve and Meek Mill too. The A Group—a trio of bobs and ruby glitter—steals the show. Everyone looks happy for them.
Bounce queen Katey Red grew up in New Orleans’ Melpomene Projects, a 500 unit development built in Central City in 1964. She starting building her name around town in 1998 as a member of the high school baton squad, battling friendly rivals Big Freddie, K-Ready and Vockah Redu. They gained publicity together—she’s been a city gem ever since, but never made a music video until fan/director David S. White hounded her, and the people of kickstarter, for the $2,500 to make it happen. Katey barely lays down any verses in the short film; what we see is a bunch of women moving alone, alongside each other, doing their thing. Katey smiles at everyone and they smile back, the list of thank you’s that follows is long, genuine. Perhaps, to make music that matters, it takes a village.