ARTIST: Lauryn Hill
TITLE: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
YEAR RELEASED: 1998
CHART ACTION: #1 US, #2 UK
SINGLES: Can’t Take My Eyes Off You (#45 R&B), To Zion (#77 R&B), Doo Wop (That Thing) (#1 US, #2 R&B, #3 UK), Ex-Factor (#21 US, #7 R&B, #4 UK), Everything Is Everything (#35 US, #14 R&B, #19 UK), Nothing Even Matters (#105 US, #25 R&B)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Superstar, Forgive Them Father, Lost Ones
LINEUP: Lauryn Hill with 36 musicians, 19 vocalists, and 15 producers / engineers.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A groundbreaking new soul/ rap album that reset the perception of female voices in popular music
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: While the Fugees were a popular group, upon hearing this album from Lauryn Hill, many were wondering why the Fugees were holding back someone with the talent as Hill. This album was that out of the blue and groundbreaking.
The story of Hill before, during and after the recording of this album can take volumes. The album itself has a lot of depth and breadth to it, and while Hill had a lot of help in the execution of the album, the concept of this all seems to come from her. The production is layered, and doesn’t all sound like it comes from the same set of beats.
There are skits, which detract some from the flow of the album, but most every track is a winner and it’s a hyped album that mostly lives up to its lofty expectations. Hill’s voice and rapping are spot on, and her use of melody and harmony made this well beyond just a normal hip-hop album.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: A group called New Ark helped Hill with the album. They were lightly credited and a lawsuit entailed.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.
GRADE: A-: Again, I’m not a fan of skits, and if they were eliminated I can definitely see this as an “A” album.