Just a few days ahead of the release of the Cleveland-centric movie The Land, Nas and Erykah Badu — two of the film's major players, with Nas producing and Badu starring — have shared one of the soundtrack's most anticipated songs.
"This Bitter Land" unites the two legends over somber, flowing strings, with a narrative lyrical darkness to match. Early in his verse, Nas raps, "Cop shot 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 / Tell 'em stop riding me, stop driving us into a suicidal ideology," before bringing it to a close: "Either you busy living or busy dying, look what it's come to / Look what it's come to / So what you gon' do?"
After the wailing strings provide a bridge, Badu picks up with her verse to end the song, delivering a powerful yet melancholy vocal performance.
The Land drops on Friday, July 29, which is the same day that DJ Khaled's Major Key, featuring the Nas-starring song "Nas Album Done," hits stores.