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Editor’s Pick #237: Common’s “Strange Fruit” by carlywolkoff

 

 

Discarded track from Common's Finding Forever leaks

PREVIEW: Listen to “Strange Fruit” on YouTube

Apparently “Strange Fruit” was spared from Common’s 2007 Grammy-winning album, Finding Forever.  But I don’t see why.  The discarded song which recently surfaced samples Nina Simone’s cover of Billie Holiday’s iconic “Strange Fruit” and her passionate cries as she sings, “Black bodies swinging in the Southern breeze” will lure you instantly.

While the original “Strange Fruit” may have been a reaction to a lynching in the South, Common’s rhymes provide a more relevant spin as he insists that although as a society we’ve come a long way since Holiday’s time, we’ve still yet to scratch the surfact of what needs to be accomplished.  John Legend’s soulful choral accompaniment encourages listeners to persevere despite current inequalities and celebrate our progress.  Whether or not the rumors regarding Kanye’s involvement in the production of the song are true, “Strange Fruit” is a stellar track.

— Carly Wolkoff, Front of Book Editor

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