Some of Hip Hop’s best collaborations happen when you least expect.
Nas and the queen of Hip Hop (hands down) Lauryn Hill are coming together for a long overdue “Life Is Good/Black Rage” tour (inspired by Nas’ latest album and L’s new song “Black Rage”).
The songstress’ song discusses the reality of racial injustice and abuse, while Nas flips the script with his more reminiscent album title.
“I use the performance platform as an opportunity to express the energy of that moment, and the intention behind it,” Lauryn told Rap-Up.com. “I’ve been a long standing rebel against the stale, over commoditization. As artists we have the opportunity to help the public evolve, raise consciousness and awareness, teach, heal, enlighten, and inspire in ways the democratic process may not be able to touch. So we keep it moving.”
*Rap star Nas has earned his sixth No. 1 album on the Billboard 200, as “Life Is Good” enters with 149,000 sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan. According to Billboard, the number surpasses initial forecasts for the set by industry prognosticators, which had pegged it to begin with around 125,000.
Nas previously hit the top with “It Was Written” (1996), the collaboration set “The Firm” (1997; with Foxy Brown, AZ and Nature), “I Am” (1999), “Hip-Hop Is Dead” (2007) and “Untitled” (2008). The latter — Nas’ last solo studio release — arrived with 187,000.
More recently, his 2010 “Distant Relatives” collabo effort with Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley started at No. 5 with 57,000.
On the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, Nas also debuts at No. 1, marking his ninth trip to the top of that tally. Among rap acts, only Jay-Z has earned more No. 1s on the R&B/Hip-Hop chart, with 12.
The smoothed-out track, from Nas’ forthcoming album “Life Is Good,” was produced by Salaam Remi, who has put in work for both stars in the past. (He produced “Made You Look” for Nas and “Tears Dry on Their Own” for Winehouse).
Listen to “Cherry Wine” below.
The pair previously teamed for the single “Like Smoke,” which appeared on Winehouse’s posthumous compilation CD “Lioness: Hidden Treasures.”
*NBC has given the green light to a Mafia-inspired drama from Jamie Foxx.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the peacock made a deal for “Tommy’s Little Girl,” which centers on a young girl raised in a Mafia family who is hidden away in an orphanage after her family is murdered by a rival crime boss. Now an attorney, she has a double life as an assassin avenging her family’s murder as she attempts to locate her last living relative.
The project is from writer/executive producer Jorge Zamacona (Oz, The Unusuals) along with executive prodders Foxx and Deon Taylor.
NBC has also picked up a comedy from Chris Pappas and Mike Bernier (Unhitched) and Scot Armstrong (The Hangover Part II) titled “Life Is Good.” The logline: A husband and father of two young girls is discovered by the 19-year-old mixed-race son he never knew he had, throwing his mellow suburban family world into chaos.