The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

Every once in a while an artist comes along that drastically changes the landscape of sound, the very way we interpret the movement of music. In 1998, Lauryn Hill brought us light in a way we’d never experienced it. She gave us something that fell beyond the parameters of “new” and became unidentifiably beautiful.

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill was the pinnacle of years of maturation, heartbreak, and rebirth. L-Boogie became a goddess of Hip-Hop and responded to the onslaught of sugary sweet pop with her own brand of mysticism. Coming out of the Prodigal Son of Hip-Hop groups in the 90s (The Fugees), Lauryn expanded her vocal and lyrical versatility on her own. She coupled the scope of her life experiences with the continued growth of students in a public school, discussing love as if they’d felt the sensations of that enigmatic rose.

With an album title that is a nod to the continued institutionalised racism highlighted in W.E.B DuBois’ The Miseducation of the Negro, there’s no doubt that Lauryn’s intent was to raise eyebrows and consciousnesses to a level that they’d strayed far from for the better part of 30 years.

The album opens with a bell, signifying that school is now in session. From that first blaring ring, we’re plopped right back into the classrooms, dusty and dim, smelling of youth and chalk dust. The teacher is taking attendance. The very last name he calls out doesn’t respond. “Lauryn Hill. Lauryn Hill. Lauryn Hill…” fading suddenly into a thumping, yet sparse, beat, through which Lauryn’s voice strums.

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2 thoughts on “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

  1. sara

    I don’t like hype, and as a rule I’m suspicious of any album that’s too widely praised. Nonetheless, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill proved to be an exception to the unfortunate trend of hyping mediocrity. Her sentiments are refreshing, she’s emotional without being sentimental, she’s devout without being proselytizing, and perhaps most importantly she writes interesting, ecclectic music with roots in Jazz, Rock, Soul, Gospel, R&B, ad. inf. Quite frankly, I’m completely bemused by the reviews claiming that her beats are predictable or her lyrics are less than insightful. I found the opposite to be true; her mixing and producing were exceptional and her collaborators were well-chosen and well-utilized. I was further confused by two reviews below, one of which claimed that Brandy was superior and another which claimed Celine Dion was. Putting my personal opinions of those performers aside for a moment, I would like to point out that neither Brandy nor Dion write or produce their own songs. They perform the work of other songwriters and musicians and then allow it to be mixed by studio employees. Ms. Hill is not a performer. She’s a real artist and “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” is an amazing album. Everybody should listen it regardless of their musical taste.

    Thanks,
    Sara lopez

    Reply
    1. Yvning Post author

      Couldn’t agree with you more. Her sound was and remains unique and distinguishable from milieu others who portend to claim the title “artist”.

      Miseducation was a work of art, a pinpoint in time in which art was at its apex… everything concerning love, peace, anger, happiness, and yes, education found itself on this carefully constructed album. I’m the type that doesn’t listen to hype and judges a piece on its own merits, regardless of what countless others may say. As such, my love of this album will never fade because it dared to be different and honest.

      Thanks for reading. I hope you get a chance to experience more music like this and spread its beauty with others. 🙂

      Reply

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