Lauryn Hill remains an enigma who rarely do interviews and public appearances despite her popularity and legendary status. The former Fugees MC did an interview through e-mail with Rolling Stone. It was apart of the Rolling Stone Greatest Albums podcast.
The 1998 album of “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” has sold millions of copies and earned Hill five Grammy Awards, more than any female artist had ever taken home in a single night. As part of her email answers, Ms. Hill revealed why there was never a follow-up to the multi-platinum album.
“The wild thing is no one from my label has ever called me and asked how can we help you make another album, EVER…EVER,” she wrote. “Did I say ever? Ever! … With the Miseducation, there was no precedent. I was, for the most part, free to explore, experiment and express.
“After the Miseducation, there were scores of tentacled obstructionists, politics, repressing agendas, unrealistic expectations and saboteurs EVERYWHERE. People had included me in their own narratives of THEIR successes as it pertained to my album, and if this contradicted my experience, I was considered an enemy.”
Despite the legendary status of her album, Lauryn Hill never followed up on the project. She realizes that her work has become a study of greatness in the rap and music worlds.
“I’ve always been pretty critical of myself artistically, so of course there are things I hear that could have been done differently but the LOVE in the album, the passion, its intention is to me, undeniable,” she explained. “I think my intention was simply to make something that made my foremothers and forefathers in music and social and political struggle know that someone received what they’d sacrificed to give us, and to let my peers know that we could walk in that truth, proudly and confidently.
“At that time, I felt like it was a duty or responsibility to do so. … I challenged the norm and introduced a new standard. I believe the Miseducation did that and I believe I still do this — defy convention when the convention is questionable.”
It would do well for the public to hear Lauryn Hill’s music with a modern twist on what has been happening in the last couple of years with the police brutality and social injustices.
A new take on her motherhood and life in 2021 from Hill could help those who need to hear positive messages about handling themselves in these crucial times. The iconic artist addressed how her music transcends time due to its topical nature.
“All of my albums have probably addressed systemic racism to some degree, before this was something this generation openly talked about,” she says of her discography. “I was called crazy. Now…over a decade later, we hear this as part of the mainstream chorus.
“OK, so chalk some of it up to leadership and how that works — I was clearly ahead, but you also have to acknowledge the blatant denial that went down with that. The public abuse and ostracizing while suppressing and copying what I had done, (I protested) with still no real acknowledgement that all of that even happened, is a lot.”
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