Lauryn Hill is arguably one of the greatest voices in recent times, which makes it understandable that she would be selected to cover another great from a previous generation: Nina Simone. Here, she’s reworking Simone’s 1965 original, “Feeling Good,” and Hill’s voice bears an uncanny resemblance to Simone’s over the bluesy backdrop.
If the song feels familiar, it’s probably because “Feeling Good” has been covered, reworked and sampled many times in rap, ranging from Watch The Throne to Flo-Rida. I can remember discovering the tune through AZ’s Pieces Of A Man album, released in 1998, where the intro track incorporates her vocals. So while certain musicians may gripe about sampling, rappers losing the ability to draw from the past takes away teaching moments like mine that lead me to discover and become familiar with the work of the famed singer. But, I digress since that’s a discussion for a different place and time.
Hill’s version will appear on the upcoming RCA Records compilation, Nina Revisited: A Tribute To Nina Simone, which is a companion piece to an upcoming documentary on Simone titled What Happened, Miss Simone?, set to begin airing on Netflix on June 26. The former Fugees singer has six songs on the compilation and she’s joined by the likes of Mary J. Blige, Common, Usher, and Jazmine Sullivan with contributions to the project.
Stream “Feeling Good” and see the Nina Revisited tracklist below.
Nina Revisited: A Tribute to Nina Simone Tracklist:
1. Lisa Simone – “Nobody’s Fault but Mine (Intro)”
2. Ms. Lauryn Hill – “Feeling Good”
3. Ms. Lauryn Hill – “I’ve Got Life”
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”
(Via Rolling Stone)