It’s been a good week for Kendrick Lamar fans—so far, the MC’s remix of Jidenna’s “Classic Man” hit the internet, and today brings the official version of the rapper's latest collaboration with Bilal. Bilal is a versatile, enigmatic singer with an other-worldly falsetto. He came up in the early ‘00s and was associated with neo-soul, but he always seemed constrained by that label. His interests are wide-ranging, and he’s spent the last decade involved in a number of projects as a session singer and a solo artist.
Connecting with Lamar to add vocals to “Institutionalized” and “These Walls,” both on To Pimp A Butterfly, may give Bilal the most exposure he’s had since his early days. That’s fortuitous, because he has an album coming out soon. “Money Over Love,” which was dropped earlier this month on Gilles Peterson’s radio show, features plenty of Bilal’s curling high register and the bass-heavy instrumentation that Lamar favored on his recent album. The MC adds a short, vehement verse, rapping breathlessly with clear, stern enunciation.
Bilal’s In Another Life is scheduled to hit stores next week.