Why Lauryn Hill’s ‘Miseducation’ Is Still Spellbinding The Masses, And Your Favorite Artists, Twenty Years Later
In an era when bravado reigned supreme and rap beef came with potentially deadly consequences, Ms. Hill paved her own path in 1990’s hip hop.
April 16, 2018 at 12:54 am
With the release of “Be Careful” and “Nice for What,” Bardi and Drizzy both paid homage to Ms. Hill with an "Ex-Factor" sample from the mega hit, chart-topping, 1998 album, "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill."
"Care for me, care for me. Why don't care for me? There for me, there for me. Said you'd be there for me. Cry for me, cry for me. You said you'd cry for me. Give to me, give to me. Why won't you live for me?"
It’s this kind of unapologetically vulnerable lyricism that carved out a unique path for Lauryn Hill, garnering her five Grammys and more than 8 million records sold.
In an era when bravado reigned supreme and rap beef came with potentially deadly consequences, L Boogie swooped in, scepter and crown in tact, to sprinkle love, light and wisdom on her loyal subjects. Her sharp intellect, impeccable vocals and crazy rhyming skills solidified "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" as a timeless work of art that still goes hard twenty years later.
For context, Lauryn Hill’s success did not come easily. After walking away from a dynamic hit-making machine as one-third of The Fugees, no one saw it for a solo project from the artist. A very pregnant Lauryn Hill and her hodgepodge of little known Newark-based musicians and producers were very much on their own in the making of "The Miseducation." It was that scrappy, underdog mentality, reflected throughout the project, that resonated with audiences worldwide.
As a xennial and card-carrying Lauryn Hill fanatic, I couldn't be more thrilled to see the queen collecting her things. She deserves!
In honor of the seminal body of work that came to define an entire genre, it’s only right to revisit a few of the classic verses that make “The Miseducation" so iconic.
Photo: Columbia Records
Get Into These 8 Timeless Lines From "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" That Still Give Us Life:
1. Everything Is Everything: "L-Boogie spars with stars and constellations. Then came down for a little conversation. Adjacent to the king, fear no human being. Roll with cherubims to Nassau Coliseum. Now hear this mixture, where Hip Hop meets scripture. Develop a negative into a positive picture."
2. Final Hour: "I treat this like my thesis. Well-written topic, broken down into pieces. I introduce then produce words so profuse. It's abuse how I juice up this beat like I'm deuce. Two people, both equal like I'm Gemini."
3. Lost Ones: "It's funny how money change a situation. Miscommunication leads to complication. My emancipation don't fit your equation. I was on the humble, you on every station. Some wan' play young Lauryn like she dumb. But remember not a game new under the sun."
4. Forgive Them Father: "To survive is to stay alive in the face of opposition. Even when they comin', gunnin' I stand position. L's known the mission since conception. Let's free the people from deception. If you looking for the answers then you gotta ask the questions."
5. To Zion: "How beautiful if nothing more, than to wait at Zion's door. I've never been in love like this before. Now let me pray to keep you from, the perils that will surely come. See life for you my prince has just begun."
6. Doo Wop (That Thing): "You know I only say it cause I'm truly genuine. Don't be a hard rock when you really are a gem. Baby girl, respect is just a minimum. N**** tick you off and you still defending 'em. Now, Lauryn is only human. Don't think I haven't been through the same predicament."
7. Superstar: "Now, who you know without any flaws? That lives above the spiritual laws? And does anything they feel just because there's always someone there who'll applaud?"
8. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill: "I look at my environment and wonder where the fire went. What happened to everything we used to be? I hear so many cry for help searching outside of themselves. Now I know his strength is within me."