The soulful sounds of Erykah Badu met the incomparable lyrics of Nas Wednesday evening (Oct. 12), when the two performed their stirring single, “This Bitter Land” on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
On a mission to wake the masses, the rapper urges listeners to understand the journeys of those well traveled and systematically oppressed. “In the cracks, it’s so dark/and the dark,” Nas spits on the Dinah Washington inspired track. “Seems more appealing than the light in the land/where you gotta fight/catch a body in the night/we need a plan.” The single is featured on This Land soundtrack, which is also executively produced by Nas and Machine Gun Kelly.
While annotating the single with Genius, Mr. Jones explained his delight for working with Erykah Badu. “I’ve always wanted to work with Erykah,” He said. “She’s in the movie, she does a remarkable job as an actor. She’s incredible. I love her. To work on something that sounds like that—melancholy, solemn, like opening up a flower and you prick your finger on the thorns.”
In addition to his powerful performance, the rapper opened up about his musical hiatus. “I gotta live life. I gotta experience things,” the rapper explained. “Sometimes music can shift society, man. Not even talking about me. When I first started out, I didn’t know this thing would be so global.”
Check out his performances and other tidbits from his appearance below.