Some Education on Ms. Lauryn Hill

Some Education on Ms. Lauryn Hill

Some music enthusiasts only care about one thing; a little bit of hip-hop. Now, to have a conversation about that soulful music and not bring up Ms. Lauryn Hill is quite outrageous. Known for her time with the trio stars of the Fugees and then her own solo career, Hill rose to prominence in the genres of rap and soul.

A queen of rap, Hill has been in the game for decades. She first built her image in her band, with the Fugees dropping the hit album The Score. Featuring the classic “Killing Me Softly With His Song,” the Fugees were very well known, and this set up Hill’s independent career quite well. 

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is the only solo album by Hill, yet garnered FIVE Grammys in 1999, showing the vocal and lyrical skills of a generational great. Ms. Lauryn even became the first to ever win a Grammy for a hidden track, taking one home for her cover of “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You,” which sits unlisted on Miseducation

Whilst Miseducation faced many barriers due to a female artist, a black woman, and her first solo album, it went on to hit #1 across the board and stay valuable to this day. Hill has been the inspiration of the likes of Beyonce, Adele, Rihanna, and Kanye West. Her hard-hitting lyrics typically stand up for women’s rights and the black community, showing the power of Black women. 

Beyond her musical achievements, Lauryn Hill’s journey took a profound turn toward activism and social empowerment. She became a vocal advocate of issues such as racial inequality, women’s empowerment, and societal injustice through her lyrics. In songs like “Doo Wop (That Thing)” and “Everything Is Everything,” Hill’s messages of self-respect, resilience, and empowerment resonated deeply with audiences, sparking conversations and inspiring change. 

Her unreleased song “Black Rage” serves as a powerful critique of racism and oppression, amplifying the voices of marginalized communities and challenging listeners to confront uncomfortable truths. Lauryn Hill’s commitment to social justice became a defining aspect of her artistry, bridging the gap between music and activism in profound ways.

Amidst her activism, Lauryn Hill’s personal integrity and devotion to motherhood remained unwavering. Her song “To Zion” poignantly reflects on the transformative power of love and family, challenging societal expectations and celebrating the beauty of motherhood. Hill’s decision to prioritize her family over her career exemplifies her commitment to authenticity and staying true to her values, inspiring others to do the same. Miseducation may be her sole work on her own, but the fact that one album can have such a lasting impact speaks levels, and she continues to grace the world with tours to this day.

Ultimately, Lauryn Hill is undoubtedly on the Mount Rushmore of female rappers, and anyone could make a strong case for her to be the GOAT, a top 20 rapper regardless of gender, and a pioneer of neo-soul and R&B. Her lyrics transcend most that grace your ears, and they tend to have more value than your modern rap that sounds like meaningless words just spat out. The Queen is timeless, and now even her son YG Marley, the grandson Bob Marley, is on a great start in his own career. Name another female artist who has done so much for music and the hip-hop, soul, R&B, and reggae communities. Sorry, Missy and Nicki, you might win some but you just lost one.

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Zealan Munsey
Zealan Munsey, Editor-in-Chief

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