6 Reasons Why "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" is an Iconic Album

A previous member of the Fugees, Lauryn Noelle Hill is an inspiration to a wide range of music lovers today. After having a baby with the son of Rohan Marley (son of Bob Marley), Hill released her debut album, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” shortly after. She was able to create a body of work in which strings, drums and other musical instruments were involved to arrange a project that consisted of 14 tracks of R&B infused with soul magic. Themes throughout her album include her relationship with God, her family, motherhood, womanhood, female sexuality, and human growth of mind and spirit. She was able to evoke a generation that looks up to her to this day. Her style of rap-singing has persisted since her album’s iconic release. Needless to say, the album is legendary, so let’s take a look at some of the main reasons why.

1. It was her first album ever.

It’s pretty incredible that Hill was able to make a critically-acclaimed album on her first try. Sure, she had experience working with the Fugees in the past, but "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" was her first solo album. Beginner’s luck or just pure talent? I'm going to go with the latter.

2. She won a Grammy on her first album.

Producing a hit album is one thing, but creating a project that wins Album of the Year at the Grammys? That’s definitely an accomplishment to be proud of.

3. She was the third black woman to win album of the year at the Grammys.

Not only did she win Album of the Year at the 41st annual Grammy Awards Show, but the incredible artist was the third black woman to win since Whitney Houston in 1994, an incredible achievement on its own. She proved that women of color in the music industry are present and are to be taken seriously.

4. She put female rappers on the map.

As if being an icon for women of color wasn’t enough, through her debut album, Hill broke records in terms of female musical achievement. As the first woman nominated in 10 categories in one year and previously the only female artist with the longest running song as number one on the charts (broken recently by Cardi B!), there’s no doubt this is a female artist with impact. She made a mark on history by proving women were fully capable of becoming hip-hop stars.

5. It changed the music game as a whole.

Before the album’s release, hip-hop influence was on the rise, but not as big as it is today in mainstream music. But with its obvious influence in artists, whether R&B or soul, black or white or male or female, Hill created the slope that would lead hip-hop to become mainstream. Her singing-rapping approach was especially copied by other artists during her time, which led to an infusion of the two styles to become a vocal technique of its own.

6. The album was inspired by her pregnancy.

Whoever said that pregnancy caused women to become less capable clearly had never heard of this album. Before Lauryn’s pregnancy with her son Zion, the artist claimed to have been experiencing some serious writer’s block. She’s quoted in saying during an interview, "When some women are pregnant, their hair and their nails grow, but for me it was my mind and ability to create. I had the desire to write in a capacity that I hadn't done in a while. I don't know if it's a hormonal or emotional thing ... I was very in touch with my feelings at the time.”

The album will celebrate its 20-year anniversary this August. Despite its age, "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" will forever hold an iconic influence in music, culture and history.

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