Just days after Lauryn Hill dropped her sultry cover of Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good,” the former Fugees singer has unveiled a snippet of another track titled “I’ve Got Life,” a new composition built around Simone’s 1968 single “Ain’t Got No, I Got Life.” “Thought it appropriate to share now,” Hill wrote on her social media accounts about “I’ve Got Life,” which arrives three days after the deadly shooting at a Charleston, South Carolina church that left nine people dead.
“Watch the words, how they twist them/Two-thirds of the world turned victim/Subtle energy that capture and block chi/The unseen violence behind a democracy/Some call it hypocrisy,” Hill raps on the high-powered, politically charged cut, one of six songs she contributed to the upcoming compilation Nina Revisited: A Tribute to Nina Simone. “Invisible ink in the Constitution, meant to preserve the institution/Uneven distribution of wealth, goods and services.” Hill also throws barbs at “Jim Crow, the KKK and American terrorism.”
Nina Revisited: A Tribute to Nina Simone is due out July 10th and also features Usher, Mary J. Blige, Common and many more. In addition to “Feeling Good” and “I’ve Got Life,” Hill also covers Simone’s instrumental “African Mailman,” “Black Is The Color Of My True Love’s Hair,” “Ne Me Quitte Pas” and “Wild Is the Wind,” a track later popularized by David Bowie.
In a statement, Hill talked about working on Nina Revisited: A Tribute to Nina Simone, which accompanies the Netflix documentary What Happened, Miss Simone? “Because I fed on this music, both hers and lovers like her, like my basic food, I believed I always had a right to have a voice,” Hill said. “Her example is clearly a form of sustenance to a generation needing to find theirs. What a gift.”
The Liz Garbus-directed What Happened, Miss Simone? premieres on Netflix on June 26th.