Lauryn Hill Biography
Review The Artist (28)
BORN: May 26, 1975
"Hey, it's my album! Who else can tell my story better than me?" says Lauryn Hill, chanteuse, rapper, songwriter, actress, activist and mother. She's talking about The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (RuffHouse/Columbia), her solo debut album and one of the most hotly-anticipated records of 1998.
Produced by Lauryn herself, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is a deeply personal album, running the gamut from affairs of the heart to socio-political issues, set against a sonic backdrop displaying the remarkable talent of this young native of South Orange, New Jersey. The title, according to Hill, shouldn't be taken too literally. The doe-eyed 23-year old, who completed her freshman year at Columbia University, explains: "... the concept of 'Miseducation" is not really miseducation at all. To me, it's more or less switching the terminology... it's really about the things that you've learned outside of school, outside of what society deems appropriate and mandatory. I have a lot of respect for academia... But there was a lot that I had to learn * life lessons * that wasn't part of any scholastic curriculum. It's really our passage into adulthood when we leave that place of idealism and naivete."
Lauryn's eagerly-anticipated solo opus has been a long time coming. Critics, who were first privy to Hill's mellifluous, sometimes gritty alto on the Fugees' 1993 debut, Blunted on Reality, suggested she break free of the constraints of the group and go solo. The critics obviously missed the point. Undaunted, Hill stuck to her principles, which included fierce loyalty to the group, and went on to co-write, co-produce and serve as featured performer on the Fugees' sophomore offering, The Score. The rest, so the adage goes, is history. The album went on to rack up sales of over 17 million units, making the Fugees the biggest-selling rap group of all time.
With fellow cohorts, Prakazrel "Pras" Michel and Wyclef Jean, Lauryn also garnered two 1996 Grammy awards: Best Rap Album for The Score and Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal for Lauryn's poignant cover of the Roberta Flack classic "Killing Me Softly." That single became the hip-hop anthem of 1996 and firmly insuring the Fugees' success in the upper echelons of pop music's colorful history.
The young woman -- who Public Enemy's Chuck D admiringly describes as "sunlight" and a "Bob Marley (of the) 21st Century," has documented her glorious, multi-faceted life on record. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill -- like its author/protagonist -- is confrontational, strong, forthright, and intelligent, while retaining a delicate, sensitive balance. This young auteur steps fearlessly into the musical arena, dealing with subjects that are close to her heart. At times, her humor is wry and candid and her pain and anger startling, but she is never bitter. She has been galvanized by her life experiences.
"I'm close to all of them," she says, almost maternally, about her songs. "Every time I got hurt, every time I was disappointed, every time I learned, I just wrote a song," she explains, "but the song that touches me the most is the one about my son." "Joy of My World is in Zion" is for those "...who may have thought I was all that, but here is some of the pain I was going through. Here's my human side... It was very strange to me how this became an issue * this decision of mine. But what began as something dark became the brightest and most important thing to me."
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill forays into hip-hop territory with cuts like "Doo Wop" and the Jamaican-tinged grooves of "Lost Ones." Throughout the album, Hill's delicious vocals engage and captivate. Musically, she brings a warmth and sensitivity to the sound of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and displays her wide knowledge of the workings of the studio as producer on this stunning debut. She is undaunted by the fact that this area of recording is considered mainly male territory. "Men have a hard time taking direction from women, but when you pay somebody, you pay them to get it right, " she says. "I think that women will be called 'bitches' and 'hard to work with' if they ask for and get what they want. So I don't pay attention to that at all. Music is so important to me and how I come across in music is so important. I'm a perfectionist. If I have to do it a hundred times, I'll do it a hundred times!"
And though men's attitudes towards women in the industry riles her, she forges ahead. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is evidence of her self-assured attitude as a well-rounded artist and studio technician. Her skills as a prolific songwriter have led to her writing songs for various artists. She wrote and produced "On That Day" for gospel artist CeCe Winans, and, in addition to writing the smash hit title cut for Aretha Franklin's current album, A Rose is Still a Rose, Lauryn also directed song's accompanying video. She has proven herself to be a versatile performer and producer.
Her immense talent transcends gender-specific constraints. "Men like it when you sing to them. But step out and try and control things and there are doubts. This is a very sexist industry," she opines. "They'll never throw the genius title to a sister. They'll just call her 'diva' and think it's a compliment. It's like our flair and vanity are put before our musical and intellectual contributions."
Having spent her much of her formative years in the nation's spotlight, first as an actress (she appeared in a recurring role in "As the World Turns" and was featured in "Sister Act II: Back In the Habit") and now as a multi-platinum artist who still finds time for charitable causes (she is the founder of non-profit organization, The Refugee Camp Youth Project, whose manifesto is based on giving back to the community and improving the quality of life for inner-city children), Lauryn Hill has very much come into her own and The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is the musical proof. As Lauryn Hill, the hip-hop groundbreaking genius, puts it, "I want my music to touch real people. I'm still trying to figure myself out, like most people.... because I'm still living and learning..."
Please click here to submit the latest Lauryn Hill biography
Tell Him | Reviewer: Anonymous | 8/14/10
This song brings tears to my eyes and tugs at my heart every time I listen to it. It to me, is the best songs on your album, although the entire album is great. I hadn't listened to it in a long time and today, I did. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is an all time classic and it will never get old or become stale. I'm presently going through one of the darkest moments of my life and listening to this album has spiritually awakened me. I love you for the artist that you are and I hope that one day you'll return to continue to "touch the lives of real people."
Thank You Lauryn | Reviewer: luv4dafam | 6/15/10
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is until this day one the best CD's I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. I can put this in the deck and drive cross country to it. It's something that I can allow my lil man to listen to from beginning to end. In a world where nearly everyone seems to be selling their souls for the "almighty dollar" so much so that many believe happiness resides in the materialistics of this world, you are still a breath of fresh air. I can say that your words transcend time and gender in a world that is suffocating from materialism and the degradation of others for profit. Your music is full of an essence that is being slowing squeezed out of the music industry, hip hop in particular. That essence is one of compassion, love, and mutual repect. Lauryn (L-Boogie)the industry needs cleasing, the industry needs you!!! Last but not least, I am proud of you, firstly as a concrete but humble human being, secondly as a woman, and thirdly as an artist. I Love You Lauryn and Blessings from our heart to yours....
Future | Reviewer: Anonymous | 6/4/10
I have been a fan or yours since the fugee days, and I am completely inspired by your work. I am not an artist at all; however I am an avid lover of music. I can say that your music has touched me in so many ways and I appreciate that to the utmost. I hope that you do more music in the future, sooner than later lol. I think music has changed, some for the better and some not so good. I miss artist like you who make music about life and things going on in today’s society. You must bless us with that creative mind and spirit. I hope to hear something soon. Take care and god bless.
Lauryn Hill | Reviewer: Pre | 12/16/09
Lauryn.. you are truly inspiring in EVERY sense of the word. I'm a teenager and my brothers used to listen to you in high school. I heard you music when I was a toddler and I loved it then and I love it now. You have the amazing ability to connect to anyone who listens to you, no matter race or age, and that is a quality that most artists would dream to possess. No one can compare to you and if you were still rapping the whole music industry would be different.. like Kanye said, "Lauryn Hill said her heart was in Zion, I wish her heart was still in rhyming. Cause who the kids gon' listen to?..."
hey Lauren! | Reviewer: hannah | 4/25/09
hey ,im just wandering if your going to put out another CD i love your music! but i understand its not that easy to pop out CDs ,especialy if they are as origional as they are! well i will always love your beautiful voice and music!stay true!I would love it if you came to New Zealand to perform!!!!!!
Im one of ur fans | Reviewer: Thanice Seintje | 3/1/09
Im sp glad to can send u a review Am so glad to talk to u I Like u so much I can explain u how glad Im I like all ur songs Ur movies U are so pretty i can Explain u How Im sooooooo Glad. My dreams Is to go some day or some Year where u live To See u Close Up and Give u some Huggs And Tell U home much I love U And Like U FOr real.Lauryn Hill God bless U For ever
what happened | Reviewer: chanice reyes | 2/4/09
can i ask u y did u stop rappin cuz i have all of ur albumz until now because u have stop rappin u have a wonderful voice ad a beatiful look my question to is did u stop doin what ur doin for a man that u broke up wif name ziggy marley cuz i learned as growin up for a woman u should never let a man bring u down
Luaryn is exceptional | Reviewer: edwin | 12/26/08
I have listened to almost all kinds of female artiste ranging from Whitney Houston,Celine Dion,Maria Carey and a host of others, but when it comes to Luaryn Hill she stands out perfectly with her signature in soul lifting lyrics and melodies. She is a classic herself and will always live in the hearts of those her music has influenced.
Heavenly | Reviewer: Nanie M. | 11/8/08
Hi Lauren, u are amazing, when u sing i feel heaven,my heart becomes at peace. Please always know that u are a blessing to the Universe, and we the people. You have a wonderful gift, i could listen to your musics all day. I love you.You are blessed.
Appreciate the beauty of your Music... | Reviewer: Busisiwe | 9/29/08
Really love your music especially when you talk about the fullfilling your passion is the way of praising God.
I'm just blown away by your expression of life ....i've listerned to this Unplugged CD *5 on the same day, so inspired...
Reviews By Pages: 1 2 3
The following area is only for review,