Nas and Erykah Badu have just dropped their new single, “This Bitter Land” from the soundtrack for the upcoming film The Land, executive produced by Nas. And it’s just as jamming as you thought it’d be.
Over mournful strings Badu channels Nina Simone with haunting, stripped down vocals before Nas spits a poignant rap about survival.
“Either you’re busy livin’ or busy dyin’, so what you gonna do?” the rapper asks. He adds, “Cops shot us up / He get a medal then retire.”
The song is somber and affecting, moody and cerebral, and it works well for creating an almost restless vibe, effectively capturing the mood of the country as it struggles with race relations and police violence.
The song is the latest to drop from The Land soundtrack which is stacked. Kanye West, French Montana, Pusha T, Fashawn and Machine Gun Kelley make appearances, among others. The Land has already received critical-acclaim after its debut at Sundance earlier this year, receiving praises for its gripping, poignant narrative. The film follows a kid who just wants to ride his skateboard without any hassle. To do so, he and his three friends plan to leave their hometown in Cleveland to pursue professional skateboarding.
The Land soundtrack and film is due out July 29. Listen to “This Bitter Land” below.