While you’re imitating Al Capone, I’ll be Nina Simone, and defecating on your microphone.
That, as any real hip-hop head should already know, is how Lauryn Hill ends her badass verse on The Fugees’ 1996 single “Ready or Not,” a clear indicator about just how highly Ms. Hill reveres Ms. Simone. And who can blame her? For any woman’s tried carrying a tune over the last few decades, Simone has been a major influence, a music industry icon whose classic jazz and gospel songs and albums hold up as soul music touchstones.
For anyone who needs schooling on Simone’s legend, filmmaker Liz Garbus has assembled What Happened, Miss Simone?, a documentary that puts the amazing singer/songwriter/activist’s talents on front street; the film will screen at the IFC Center on Wednesday, June 24, and Thursday, June 25 (buy tickets for either screening here), before hitting Netflix for its official unveiling on Friday, June 26. There’s also a star-studded soundtrack on the way: Nina Revisited: A Tribute to Nina Simone, scheduled for a July 10 street date and featuring Usher, Common, Mary J. Blige and others covering Simone’s best tracks.
One of Nina Revisited’s participants is none other than Lauryn Hill, who jumped onto the project as a co-producer and recorded six covers, after initially only planning on doing two. And now you can hear the first of those, Hill’s rendition of Simone’s “Feeling Good,” courtesy of Rolling Stone’s online streaming premiere. Listen to it here.
And, while you're at it, why not also revisit Simone's original 1965 version?
Here’s the full track list for Nina Revisited: A Tribute to Nina Simone.
1. Lisa Simone - "Nobody's Fault but Mine (Intro)"
2. Ms. Lauryn Hill - "Feeling Good"
3. Ms. Lauryn Hill - "I've Got Life" - Ms. Lauryn Hill
4. Ms. Lauryn Hill - "Ne Me Quitte Pas" - Ms. Lauryn Hill
5. Jazmine Sullivan "Baltimore"
6. Grace - "Love Me or Leave Me"
7. Usher - "My Baby Just Cares For Me"
8. Mary J. Blige - "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood"
9. Gregory Porter - "Sinnerman"
10. Common & Lalah Hathaway - "YG&B"
11. Alice Smith - "I Put A Spell On You"
12. Lisa Simone - "I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl"
13. Ms. Lauryn Hill - "Black Is The Color Of My True Love's Hair"
14. Ms. Lauryn Hill - "Wild Is The Wind"
15. Ms. Lauryn Hill - "African Mailman"
16. Nina Simone - "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free"