• Ike Okwerekwu

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill Tribute

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill may be the best album created by a female R&B artist. In the first week of release, the album sold over 400,000 copies which broke a record for first week sales by a female artist at the time. The iconic album earned five Grammy awards, including Album of the Year. The wisdom displayed in her lyrical content combined with the creative instrumentation from various musical genres largely contributes to the album’s greatness.

At the age of 23, Lauryn Hill created a masterpiece album based on her circumstances as a young black woman. Her relationship with Rohan Marley, pregnancy, and touring with her former group, the Fugees inspired her to musically express her experiences to the world. Interestingly, Lauryn hill claims that being pregnant enhanced her ability to think creatively and her desire to write in abundance. Her pregnancy increased the intensity of her feelings and made her decide to write whenever she felt hurt, experience disappointment, or learned a lesson. In the video below, she speaks about what inspire hers to make music and provides insightful advice for the youth.

Notable tracks in the album include “Ex-factor”, “Nothing Even Matters”, “To Zion”, and “Doo Wop (That Thing)” and influence women to express themselves freely and practice self-love. Lauryn Hill maturely speaks on internal issues that people commonly struggle with such as despair, confusion, and mistrust. However, she balances the negative emotions by celebrating the positive aspects of her life such as motherhood and God.

Hip Hop and R&B artist rarely speak about parenthood, but Lauryn Hill elegantly does so in the introspective track, “To Zion.” In the song, she sings about her son, Zion “And I thank you for choosing me to come through unto life to be a beautiful reflection of his grace. See I know that a gift so great is only one God could create and I’m reminded every time I see your face that the joy of my world is in Zion.”

The impact the album has had on today’s music is profound. Drake sampled the song “Ex Factor” and turned it into the number one hit banger, “Nice for What” in which he continues Lauryn’s album theme of female empowerment, uplifting beautiful women such as Issa Rae and Tiffany Haddish. Cardi B also sampled the soulful song, producing her hit track, “Be Careful.” A boogie and Pnb Rock remixed the song as well, creating a nice melodic tune. J Cole used the track “Nothing Even Matters” to produce the fan favorite track, “Cole Summer”. Along with Erykah Badu’s debut album, Baduizim, Lauryn Hill’s project popularized the neo-soul genre. After being Grammy nominated ten times and winning five Grammy awards, Lauryn Hill bought neo-soul to the forefront of R&B music.

Since the release of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, the hip hop artist has yet to create another studio album. Base on the commercial success and high praise she received, one would think she would be encouraged to produce another album. Ms. Hill does live a private life and the reasons for her musical absence are not quite known, but many people including former Fugee member, Pras believe that after the creation of her album, she no longer felt inspired to create another project.

Ms. Hill’s lack of artistic inspiration may never be understood, but perhaps another Fugee’s tour experience or deep connection with her feelings can motivate her to give her fans another classic album. Whether she ever makes another album or not, Lauryn Hill will forever be appreciated for blessing the culture with her soulful masterpiece.

“It’s more important to be righteous than right”

Lauryn Hill

To stream or download the album, clink this link.