Track Review: Nas ft. Erykah Badu, ‘This Bitter Land’
Vet musicians, Nas and Erykah Badu shine on “This Bitter Land,” the featured track from the soundtrack for the film, ‘The Land’.
As difficult as it is to believe, prior to “This Bitter Land,” Nas and Erykah Badu had never collaborated. Compiling a list of dream collaborations, Nas and Badu make that list without a doubt. No longer is it a dream, but a reality. The reality of the collaboration is that it’s breathtaking, moving, and superb. “This Bitter Land” serves as the featured single from the soundtrack to the independent film, The Land.
“This Bitter Land” is emotional from the start. Filled with lush strings, the production further amplifies the sentiments conveyed by the poetry and vocals. Erykah Badu sounds stunning, attuned to every vocal detail.
“This bitter land is far too real / this bitter land, it does not heal / cause in the land skies are grey / but we fight the storms that come our way”
Nas takes a more poetic, spoken word approach, as suggested earlier. Consistent with his career as a whole, Nas is socially conscious – mindful of the bigger picture.
“In the ghetto where’s you’ll find me, it’s where I stays at / Cop shots us up, he get a medal then retire / but it never will define me / write a letter to the president, whoever in control of the society…”
Ultimately, “This Bitter Land” is a brilliant collaboration by two veterans. Emotionally mature, it captivates throughout its 4 ½ minute course. If some songs with heavier subject matter feel inauthentic, “This Bitter Land” is 100% authentic. Both artists are magnificent, but Badu steals the show with one of her best career performances.
Various Artists • The Land – Music from the Motion Picture • Mass Appeal • Release: 7.29.16
Photo Credit: Mass Appeal