feature: erykah badu and nas shift their approach, joining forces in poignant new track ‘this bitter land’

July 27, 2016

Erykah Badu and Nas‘s new project stems from an even larger one; announced last winter, Badu landed a starring role in the upcoming film The Land-produced by Nas and Machine Gun Kelly. The latest track off the soundtrack: ‘This Bitter Land’, is a chilling collaboration from the R&B icons that shifts from vibe of their previous works, while widening the capacity of their artistry. Emotionally intriguing, the track begins slow, soon meeting listeners with hollow, symphonic strings that allow for a wave of reflection. As Badu and Nas’s lyricism intensifies, the textures emitted from both artists offer a simplistic transparency that not only translate the message, but also provide a situational context for the piece.

A moving offering, and set at the perfect length for saturation, ‘This Bitter Land’ is a boundary-breaking performance for both artists- often acknowledged for their feel-good, groovy anthems. Listeners are left an aftertaste of both resolution and solemnity- yet despite the depth, the tender score urges one to “press play” and experience it all over again. Listen to ‘This Bitter Land’ and watch the trailer for The Land below.

By Cree B. McClellan, AFROPUNK contributor