[Intro: Nina Simone]
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees
Blood on the leaves
“Blood on the Leaves” isn’t the first time that Ye has referred to Billie Holiday’s song “Strange Fruit,” which was based on the poem written by Abel Meeropol. This time, the reference comes through sampling Nina Simone’s re-iteration the song, not only in this intro but throughout the entirety of this track.
The juxtaposition comes into play through the dated, older strange fruit sample, which plays off the modern song lyrics and TNGHT electronic sample. With great execution, Kanye shows that African Americans still face the same problems they did when Abel Meeropol wrote that poem — except the new white man strangles them with drugs, money and poverty.
Although this is one mere view of the reasoning behind this intense, highly political sample, many have had other opinions toward it. If you have a different opinion on it, please place it in the comment section on the bottom of this lyric page.
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