The Root just did an amazing trilogy of Lauryn Hill tributes to commemorate a decade since Miseducation dropped.
Rebecca Walker asks five questions (including the one everyone has been asking for almost a decade now, Are you coming back?), The Confessions of Lauryn Hill — lyrical analysis that revealed her true feelings about fame and the music industry long before she left it all behind, and An Analog Girl in a Digital World, a portrait of Erykah Badu as Lauryn’s successor. I can’t believe it’s been a decade since Miseducation dropped. If that makes me feel old, I can only imagine how it makes Lauryn feel. I wonder if that decade feels like a crushing weight, or if she finally feels free from the trappings of the industry.
All I know is, I miss her. As an admirer of what she meant to the music industry, as a natural haired black woman, as a fan of her undeniable and enduring songs. I hope she chooses to bless us with her presence again someday. Until then, we’ve got Miseducation. So few artists can say they produced music of such lasting quality. This isn’t even a real video, just audio of one of my favorite songs off that seminal album.
I mean, for real. It still gives me chills. Sometimes I listen to Lauryn Hill and my heart just aches, because I want so much more. As a fan it makes me feel a tinge of guilt, just like I did when I read that brilliant D’Angelo article in Spin. Guilty for being a simple fan who’s hungry for more music.
Miseducation and her remarkable, raw Unplugged album stay in regular rotation with me to this day, and I already can’t pick a favorite Lauryn Hill song, but damn if I don’t want more to choose from. Damn, if I don’t want another album or two, or three — if what Rohan Marley says is to believed, Lauryn’s got music oozing out of her pores but no indication of releasing any of it anytime soon. Damn.
I had a hard time choosing a Lauryn Hill clip here, and I found some rare live performance gems. If you’ve got time on your hands and nostalgia in your heart like I do, check these out.
— An emotional Lauryn sings “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” in London
— Turn Your Lights Down Low at One Love: The Bob Marley All-Star Tribute.
And one of my favorites off her Unplugged album, I Find It Hard To Say.
We miss you, Lauryn. But you already know that.
Do you have a favorite Lauryn performance, bellas? Share with me in the comments, I’m soothing my soul with her music all day today.