There are albums that are hits, then there are albums that are timeless. When it comes to The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, it can be timeless and life changing. Lauryn Hill helped change the lives of many through her music. She wrote the entire album on her own, expressing her trials and tribulations with success, broken hearts and the men (and women) who break them, and herself. Her sweet melodies and pitches in her voice is another essential element in this album. You can feel the pain or joy she is emphasizing on each song. Even though she isn’t in the spotlight much nowadays, her music still holds legacy and will continue to do so.
Before becoming a solo artist, Lauryn Hill was a part of the hip-hop trio The Fugees, where she showcased her powerful rhymes. The Fugees were essential to the movement of conscious hip hop, voicing politics and social awareness on a funky, hip hop production. We learned that she had a powerful voice on tracks like Killing Me Softly, and Fu-Gee-La. This was the start to something that would change the grounds of neo soul.
In 1998, Lauryn Hill released her debut album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. I can remember my dad playing the entire album back to back, and continues to do so today. The album was a masterpiece on its own. When I was young, I didn’t understand what she was saying to be honest. I just liked the production and the sound of it. But as I got older, I started to understand what she was trying to get everyone to understand. Musically, the album carries hip hop, soul, and mostly reggae tones. The Miseducation fused love, soul, blackness, consciousness, wisdom and rhythm into my life, and whatever ear decided to delve into the masterpiece.
If anyone wants get a taste of what love is like, they ought to listen to this. Despite the dream of having a world where your love life is nothing but perfect, Lauryn thinks otherwise. Love is precious, but it’s also challenging, and something that both should equally fight for. Lauryn does talk about times when you fall in and out of love. Songs like “When It Hurts So Bad”, “Ex-Factor”, and “I Used To Love Him” talk about the struggles of trying to make a relationship work, even if that means you get hurt in the process. But after so much effort with little to no results, you have to leave.
On the other hand, there are great moments in love. In “Nothing Even Matters” Lauryn and neo soul artist D’Angelo exchange melodies on how much love can make everything around someone seem irrelevant. “Nothing matters, I’m in love. What do I have to worry about?” so to speak. Also, in the hit “Doo Wop (That Thing)” you should watch out for those that don’t seek to grow with you in a relationship. The ones that only look at you from the outside (sex, fame, money), rather from within.
The Miseducation also gives a lesson on how to forgive and about faith. Oftentimes, people hurt us and it can trigger rage within ourselves. The track “Forgive Them Father” tells us to put the problem in God’s hands, and he’ll work on it so you don’t have to. Hill wants to point out that during those times, we shouldn’t wish harm to those that hurt us.
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is a classic not only for its nominations and success, but for the fact that it’s relatable to anybody. It was Lauryn Hill’s delcaration. It isn’t centered on one theme, but several. Hill isn’t in the business of making music much anymore, but from time to time, she still makes guest appearances in concerts. Without a doubt, many fans miss her music. If you haven’t already, go listen to this album. It’s something you won’t forget and most definitely won’t regret.
“Lauryn Hill said her heart was in Zion, I wish her heart was still in rhymin’”
– Kanye West