Ahead of Queen & Slim’s highly anticipated nationwide premiere in theaters on November 27, the soundtrack for the Melina Matsoukas-directed film was released on Friday (Nov. 15) through Motown Records. The 17-song soundtrack features a lineup of some of music’s brightest stars, including recently released singles from Megan Thee Stallion (“Ride or Die),” Vince Staples (“Yo Love”) and Lil Baby (“Catch the Sun”). The compilation also boasts one important distinction: it includes Ms. Lauryn Hill’s first new solo song in six years, “Guarding the Gates.”
Music has been scarce from the legendary rapstress, who most recently appeared on Pusha T’s “Coming Home,” with just a handful of other musical releases this decade. Her new track for the Bonnie and Clyde-inspired film is the first original studio release from Hill since 2013, although Stereogum notes that the hip-hop icon has previously performed the song at her live shows. The last studio body of work fans got from the raptress was 21 years ago, with her debut album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.
There have been whispers of a purported second solo album from the former Fugees front woman since 2001, but nothing has ever materialized — save for two panned singles, 2013’s “Neurotic Society” and “Consumerism,” and a series of legal woes that included a lawsuit over the production of her debut album and a stint in jail for tax evasion.
Nonetheless, Hill’s latest record on the Queen & Slim OST comes as a slight ray of hope indicating the elusive figure is ready to make a full-fledged return to music.