Listen to Jazmine Sullivan’s Timely Cover of Nina Simone’s “Baltimore”
Drawing a clear line between the Civil Rights Movement and the recent protests.
Netflix's upcoming incredible-looking Nina Simone documentary What Happened, Miss Simone? will be accompanied by an equally incredible-sounding tribute album, which includes covers performed by the likes of Simone's daughter Lisa, Mary J Blige, Common, Lauryn Hill, and Jazmine Sullivan—that last of whom's contribution is the first out, and its arrival could hardly be more timely.
The underrated R&B singer has dug her teeth into Miss Simone's 1978 release, "Baltimore." The accompanying video compiles footage of the city culled from news reports from 1968 to the present, drawing a clear line between the Civil Rights Movement and the recent protests stirred by death of Freddie Gray in the custody of the police. It also includes a resonant, relevant clip of Simone meditating on her role as a musician in the revolution: "I choose to reflect the times and the situations in which I find myself. That, to me, is my duty. At this crucial times in our lives—when everything is so desperate, when everyday is a matter of survival—I don't think you can help but be involved."
Watch the video above, and revisit FADER's 2006 Icon Issue story on Simone, which features friends and family's recollections on "the only artist... [who] could capture so turbulent an era in American and transcend it."
Lead Image: Hulton Archive/Getty