News Brief

Ms. Lauryn Hill Just Dropped New Music

Listen to ‘Rebel/I Find It Hard To Say,’ a new version of Ms. Lauryn Hill’s tribute to Amadou Diallo.

Here’s something no one’s said in a very, very long time: Ms. Lauryn Hill has new music. Sort of.


The Diaspora Calling curator has just shared “Rebel/I Find It Hard To Say.” It’s an updated version of “I Find It Hard To Say (Rebel),” which originally appeared on 2002’s MTV Unplugged 2.0.

The song is streaming exclusively on Tidal. If you’re not subscribed you can still listen to a 30-second preview.

Hill wrote "Rebel" about Amadou Diallo, the 23-year-old Liberian-born college student who was shot and killed by four NYPD officers in the Bronx on February 4, 1999. At the outset of the MTV Unplugged version, she explained "It was such a hot time in the city at that point, I was afraid that if I put the record out, people would misunderstand what I meant by 'Rebel' and they just take it to the streets."

The song carries a haunting relevance in 2016 America. “Old tune, new Version, same context, even more relevant now: sick and tired of being sick and tired,” MLH said in a statement.

Ms. Hill is currently in the middle of her Diaspora Calling! tour alongside special guests like Nas, Machel Montano, Kehlani, Talib Kweli, Little Simz, Noname, Seun Kuti, Jojo Abot, EL and a number of other artists from across the diaspora. Head here for the full list of dates.

In more MLH news, the singer pretty much made Nicki Minaj's life this weekend. The two of them–one of whom is the idol and source of a high school yearbook quote for the other one–met backstage Saturday night at the TIDAL X: 1015 benefit concert in Brooklyn. Do yourself a favor and check out their encounter below. It's pretty amazing.

I quoted her in my HS YEARBOOK!!!!! Like ????????

A photo posted by Nicki Minaj (@nickiminaj) on

?????????????????????? #MsLaurynHill

A photo posted by Nicki Minaj (@nickiminaj) on

Interview
Photo: Kennedi Carter.

Adekunle Gold Is Living His Best Life

We speak to the Nigerian star about how marriage and fatherhood have led him to find both newfound happiness and newfound freedom as an artist.

''I'm having the time of my life,'' says Adekunle Gold over a Zoom call while seated in his office in Lagos. ''I'm making songs that are so true to my current energy, my current vibe.'' When I got on the call with the 34-year-old artist on a Wednesday afternoon, the first thing I noticed was his hair tied up in little braids, the second was his wide smile. As we speak, the crooner laughs multiple times but it's his aura that shines through the computer screen, it lets you know better than his words that he's truly having the time of life.

Born Adekunle Kosoko, the popular Nigerian singer got married barely two years ago to fellow artist Simi. Last year, the power couple welcomed their first child. As we talk, Gold points to his journey as a father and a husband as some of the biggest inspirations at the moment not just as far as music goes but as his perspective in life and how he now approaches things.

''My [artistry] has changed a lot because being a father and being a husband has made me grow a lot and more.'' Adekunle Gold tells OkayAfrica. ''It has made me understand life a lot more too. I'm feeling more responsible for people. You know, now I have a kid to raise and I have a wife to support, to be a real man and husband and father for.'' He credits this journey with both his newfound happiness and a newfound freedom as an artist.

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