Video: Jazmine Sullivan Lends Her Voice In Solidarity & Tribute On Nina Simone's 'Baltimore'


"How can you be an artist and not reflect the times?" - Nina Simone 

All eyes have been on Baltimore for the past week after protests and civil unrest manifested in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray. As the cries for 'no justice, no peace' and the rise of #BlackSpring wage on, Jazmine Sullivan, in a timely gesture, raises her fist for solidarity high and her voice even higher as she takes on a cover of Randy Newman's 1977 track, "Baltimore".

Recorded for the Nina Simone tribute album that will serve as a companion piece to the upcoming documentary, Whatever Happened To Nina Simone?, Sullivan channels the sound and weary fury of Simone's 1978 remake, letting her gem of a voice ebb and flow with similarly raspy gusto amid the jarring sway of a bouncy Reggae backdrop. As impacting is the retake's visual, as it opens and closes with Simone explaining how she meshes her artistry with her activism, as interchanging clips of the uprisings in Baltimore in 1968 and 2015, and notations from activist Angela Davis, play in the in-between. It's a truly powerful collage of words and sounds that proves that without justice, there's isn't any peace, and without change, history is doomed to repeat itself.

Sullivan's sublime contribution will join in the chorus of talents that include Alice Smith, Common, Mary J. Blige, and Lauryn Hill, celebrating the soul and spirit of The Empress of Jazz on the upcoming Robert Glasper-produced tribute album, arriving later this summer.

Whatever Happened To Nina Simone? premieres on Netflix, June 26th.

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