There rarely comes a time when an artist ends up changing the face of music. And one of those times was when the world came to know who Lauryn Hill was. With her musicality and knowledge of music, she became a force to be reckoned with.
In a time where hip-hop was highly influenced by degrading lyrics and the image of women, Lauryn Hill entered and educated us. She gave us an education about love, vulnerability, and retrospection, all fully clothed.
Ms. Hill isn’t your average, coming out with an album every year kind of artist.
In fact, it’s been 23 years since she has released her debut and only solo album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. And undoubtedly, it became the quintessential hip-hop and R&B album of all time.
Released on August 25, 1998, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill became successful both commercially and critically. It won five Grammys and is an x8 platinum album. And after 23 years of there is still a lot to learn from the album.
Her album explores love in its raw and different forms. From battling with a broken heart, the joy of becoming a mother to loving yourself more than anyone else. You can say that the album centers around the theme of love, a common practice for any R&B artist. Yet, she could always transition from singing to rapping with ease. And the entire album puts her that very skill on display perfectly.
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is an album filled with a lot of emotions. It is a journey of Ms. Hill’s exploration of herself. Along the way understanding her heart, excepting her flaws, and finding peace.
It’s an exploration of life, love, and heartbreak. And the lessons it teaches us on the very subjects are brutally real and relatable.
Songs like “Ex-Factor,” “When It Hurts So Bad,” “I Used to Love Him,” and “Tell Him” are songs she is the most vulnerable about.
These songs explore Lauryn’s broken heart and the pain it has caused her all her life.
Yet, these songs explain how beautifully haunting love can be and how emotional heartbreaks can be.
Songs like “Nothing Even Matters” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” explores the romantic sides of Ms. Hill that she barely showed. “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You” is a remake of Frankie Valli and the 4 Season of the same name. And “Nothing Even Matters” is an ode to her relationship with Rohan Marley (Bob Marley’s son).
Songs like “Lost Ones,” “Doo Wop (That Thing),” “Superstar,” “Forgive Them, Father,” and “Everything Is Everything” is where Lauryn Hill preaches about what’s more important in life.
These songs are about knowing, believing in, and loving yourself.
However, the most personal tracks from the entire album have to be “To Zion” and “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill”.
“To Zion” is a song Lauryn Hill wrote for her first-born son Zion David. This song is about the uncertainty she faced during her pregnancy. And also how she discovered a newfound joy after becoming a mother.
And finally, the title track of the album is about her life and she figured so many things from the experiences she gathered. It’s a song about inspiration, movement, and growth.