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Nas, Ms. Lauryn Hill announce joint fall tour

September 19, 2012|By Gerrick D. Kennedy
  • Nas and Ms. Lauryn Hill plan on sharing the road together for a joint fall outing.
Nas and Ms. Lauryn Hill plan on sharing the road together for a joint fall… (Los Angeles Times )

Nas and Ms. Lauryn Hill have shared the stage plenty since their 1996 single, “If I Ruled the World (Imagine That),” became a hip-hop classic.

Now the two iconic hip-hop acts will share the stage for a joint fall outing, their first together, dubbed the Life Is Good/Black Rage tour, it was announced on Wednesday.

The tour will launch Oct. 6 in Columbia, Md., with Nas doing a patch of solo shows before Hill joins him in Dallas on Oct. 29.

Southland fans will have to road trip if they want to see the pair. The only scheduled stop in the Golden State is Oakland on Nov. 19, the last of the joint dates.

The show gleans its namesake from Nas’ current album, “Life Is Good” and Hill’s upcoming single, “Black Rage.” The track, which will be released this fall, represents the “derivative effects of racial inequity and abuse.”

In the press announcement the notoriously press-shy rapper and singer said the single serves as a juxtaposition to Nas’ statement of “life is good,” which she believes can only be so when these long-standing issues are addressed and resolved.

“I use the performance platform as an opportunity to express the energy of that moment, and the intention behind it,” Hill said in a statement. “I've been a long standing rebel against the stale, over commoditization. As artists we have opportunity to help the public evolve, raise consciousness and awareness, teach, heal, enlighten and inspire in ways the democratic process may not be able to touch. So we keep it moving.”

The thought of Hill finally inching her way back to a proper comeback album is an enticing one. Her fans have been waiting more than a dozen years for the elusive performer to release a follow-up to her 1998 Grammy-winning solo offering, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.”

Over the years there have been a few stop-and-start reunions with the Fugees – they are likely done forever thanks to Wyclef Jean’s tawdry memoir -- and a few musical offerings from Hill, but “Black Rage” seems to be her first official single in years, though she has contributed to soundtracks such as 2007’s “Surf Up” and a leaked track, “Repercussions,” managed to chart in 2010.

Hill hasn’t been as dormant live, though, often popping up at music festivals such as Coachella and Rock the Bells (which Nas headlined this year), and she went on a string of “play dates” early last year. 

The two on the same bill make the show one of the hottest tickets for hip-hop heads. Despite not offering new material, Hill’s electric live performances are usually heralded.

And Nas couldn't be more on top of his game. Twenty years into his prolific career, he managed to change the game again with his 10th album.

Long known for his sharp wit and biting, tough social commentary he tapped into some of his most honest and compelling subject matter yet: himself. “Life Is Good” debuted at No. 1 after its release this summer and is largely considered a true return to form.

“This is history,” he said in a statement. “Better late than never. Life is good!”

Tickets can be purchased beginning Friday through Live Nation, with a pre-sale in select markets on Thursday.

Gerrick Kennedy

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