The musical masterpiece that is ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill‘ is 25 years old today and still undoubtedly continues to play an integral part in the world of modern rap.
In 1998, American songwriter and rapper, Lauryn Hill, released a genre-hybrid album that went on to reimagine the way we view genre. It blended an eclectic variety of urban styles to create something that celebrates the harmonisation of reggae, hip-hop, R’n’B, and neo-soul. Hill soon became an artist known for changing the face of hip-hop. At the time, ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill‘ was considered a contemporary album, whilst paying homage to her soulful, gospel roots from church. Together, these two influences encapsulated the iconic sound of this timeless record.
The LP was critically acclaimed and celebrated worldwide, making it one of the most highly praised albums of the year. Winning a total of 5 Grammy Awards, Hill became the first woman to win that many Grammys in one night. ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill‘ also became the first hip-hop record to be awarded the Grammy’s Album of The Year. In doing so, Hill was rightfully recognised for pushing the boundaries of the genre and successfully breaking her way into a heavily male-dominated arena. She has since stood as a powerful black female figure in music. To this day, she is regarded as one of the greatest artists of our time.
Today (25 years later), Lauryn Hill continues to take us back to school. She imparts her wisdom on love, culture, religion, and womanhood, through her masterful lyricism. Standing as one of the most influential albums moving into the 21st century, she inspired the next generation of female rappers. For example, the remarkable talent of Little Simz is an artist known to credit Hill as a strong influence in the experimental hip-hop music she makes. Simz is even considered by some as the modern-day Lauryn Hill.
The many samples of Ms. Lauryn Hill
The beauty in sampling is that our most beloved tracks live on through the creative eyes of today’s artists. It feels like there are more songs from the project that have been sampled than have not! To name a few, ‘Ex-Factor‘, ‘Doo Wop (That Thing)‘, ‘Lost Ones‘, ‘To Zion‘, and ‘Nothing Even Matters‘ have since been sampled by various musical greats. In doing so, they are honouring Hill’s legacy and bringing her music to a whole new audience.
Arguably one of the most widely recognised samples from ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill‘ is Drake’s use of ‘Ex-Factor‘. He sampled the song on his 2018 track ‘Nice For What‘. Combining Drake’s contemporary pop-inspired beats with Lauryn’s soulful energy, the track was a hit. Moreover, it topped the charts in several countries including the U.S. and U.K. charts.
Earlier this week Hill announced that she will be celebrating the 25th anniversary with a 17-date tour. Furthermore, this will span across the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. She is expected to play the entirety of the project’s tracklist, with support from Fugees for the North American shows.