A Nina Simone Playlist

“I’ll be Nina Simone and defecating on your microphone.” So rapped Ms. Lauryn Hill on Fugees’ “Ready Or Not.” As several of my friends could tell you, I tend to take things literally. I didn’t know much about Nina Simone at the time this Fugees single was released. All I knew is that she was a singer from the past who while on stage performing, apparently, would defecate on her microphone. I thought “Who wants to see that shit?” I bought Ms. Simone’s autobiography last year, in part to find out if she discusses this unusual show ritual, though I haven’t yet had the chance to read it. In preparing this post I looked up the “Ready or Not” lyrics on genius.com, where I learned that the lyric seemingly about Nina Simone’s defecation works in tandem with the line before it, which is “So while you imitating Al Capone.” What this means is that while other rappers are celebrating and emulating the life and crimes of a white gangster, Ms. Hill will aspire to follow in the footsteps of a great Black cultural artist. In other words, Nina Simone did not actually defecate while performing. Ms. Lauryn Hill did.

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A Martin Luther King Day Playlist

“You deplore the demonstrations taking place in Birmingham. But your statement, I am sorry to say, fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the demonstrations.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. 1963

“He had a dream now it’s up to you to see it through, to make it come true” – “King Holiday”

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Your (Almost) Daily Playlist (9-16-20)

Inspired by the September 16 birthdays of B.B. King, Elastica’s Justine Frischmann, The Long Blondes’ Kate Jackson, Marc Anthony, Little Willie Littlefield, Gillette, David Bellamy, Babybird’s Stephen Jones and Hinds’ Ana Perrote; and the September 15 birthdays of Jimmy Gilmer and Cannonball Adderley.