DeErricka Green |Staff Writer
After receiving a huge reaction from the audience during an incredible, unrehearsed performance together at Hot 97’s Summer Jam, and again at the Rock the Bells festival earlier this month, it seemed too much to ask that we might see two of hip- hop’s most praised lyricists- Nas and Lauryn Hill- share the stage for a tour anytime soon.
However, as of Sept. 19, the “Life is Good/Black Rage” tour was announced and will begin this fall, on Oct. 6. The tour will feature both Hill and Nas. For fans, this will not only be an event long awaited, but the experience of a lifetime.
Taking its name from Nas’ latest album, Life is Good and Hill’s new single “Black Rage,” which is set to be released later this fall, the artists plan to perform collaborative hits, as well as crowd favorites.
Two of hip-hop’s most renowned voices, the duo’s relationship dates back almost 20 years. The two collaborated on “If I Ruled the World (Imagine That),” from Nas’ It Was Written. In addition to being one of Nas’s first mainstream hits, the single was also nominated for a 1997 Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance. “Life is Good/Black Rage” is the first time the two have toured together since the success of “If I Ruled the World.”
According to MTV, Nas expressed his excitement for the tour saying, “This is history,” and “Better late than never. Life is good!”
For Lauryn fans specifically, this is a momentous occasion. Since her time with group The Fugees, which produced critically-acclaimed The Score, and the release of her first album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill in 1998, fans have been hooked on her lyrics and masterful mixture of musical styles such as R&B, soul, hip hop and reggae.
Since 2000 Hill has dropped out of the public eye, releasing little new material. In 2001, she gave a rare performance in front of a small audience for a taping of MTV Unplugged.
Hill has embarked on several tours in recent years, however to mixed reviews.
Many fans reported that Hill was often late to concerts (sometimes by an hour or more). They also said that Hill reduced crowd favorite hits into unrecognizable scats and shrieks.
Regarding this tour Hill said, “I’ve been a long-standing rebel against the stale, over commoditization. As artists we have 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.”
Her fans keep it moving as well. Despite the negative attention the artist has received recently, Amanda McKnight, a junior studying Psychology, will still be excited to see Hill grace the stage. “I’m always excited to hear about Lauryn Hill performing because we’ve been waiting for new music for over 10 years! I would love to see Nas, but for me, Lauryn is who I would be more excited to see. I love her music and The Miseducation is arguably one of the best, complete, albums ever put out by a solo artist.”
When asked about her plans to attend one of the shows, McKnight commented that she would like to see Hill when the tour makes stops in Asheville, N.C. or even Norfolk, V.A.
In response to this, McKinghts said, “As a fan it is disappointing because we haven’t heard from Nas or Lauryn in awhile. As much as Nas is one of the greatest, I think Lauryn’s music had more of a crossover appeal. If she is planning on doing some of her new music it is a bit more understandable why she wouldn’t go to all of the venues, [because] she can’t give away the whole album.”
“Life is Good/Black Rage” begins Oct. 6 Nas will start the tour solo in Columbia, M.D. at the Merriweather Post Pavilion. Lauryn Hill will then join the action on October 29in Dallas, T.X. at the Palladium Ballroom.