With National Album Day falling in Black History Month, it seemed fitting to pay homage to an album that has been heralded as one of the best of all times, an album that has influenced the sound of some of your favourite artists, and amazingly this female artist’s first solo offering to the world- The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.
On August 25th, 1998 Lauryn Hill released her debut- and incredibly, her only ever studio album to date, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. It’s a seamless body of work with running threads of love, heartbreak, and the early signs of Lauryn’s interest in the Bible (she famously took a hiatus where she delved deep into Christianity). In ‘To Zion’, Hill grapples with the idea of motherhood and how others suggested it would impact her sky rocketing career. ‘Lost Ones‘ samples Sister Nancy’s Bam Bam, and gives us a rare insight into what really happened with The Fugees.
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill spent 81 weeks on the Billboard 200, and was #1 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The album was also a hit at the Grammy’s in 1999- Lauryn Hill became the first woman to be nominated in 10 categories in 1 year- 5 of which she won, including Best Hip-Hop Artist and Album of the Year. The former of which she was the first female in history to win.
The album is timeless. One which I revisit time and time again. It’s been my solace during heartbreak, the soundtrack to celebrations during good times- my all time favourite. Each track, each line can be pulled apart and analysed. If you want to delve deeper into the lyrics, Cole Cushna does an astounding job of this in his Dissect Mini-Series, which is a fascinating listen [here].