Miseducation is definitely one of the best albums of the 90s (I ranked it at #19 on my own decade list) and perhaps the greatest album ever that was the first and last studio release by an artist.
Tomorrow I will start a countdown of my favorite albums of the decade. If this were 20 years ago — 1999 instead of 2019 — that list would include Lauryn Hill’s ’97 classic The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill somewhere near the top.
This blend of hip hop, soul and R&B sounds as bold and vital today as it did when it made such a splash 22 years ago. It is even more special for remaining the only solo studio recording Hill ever released (her one follow-up record was a live recording of an MTV Unplugged appearance).
This thing was a monster hit, a cultural touchstone, a Grammy winner for Best Album. And it was the last memorable thing Lauryn Hill ever did.
In fact, the only other solo album she ever released was a live recording of her appearance on MTV’s Unplugged. That was in 2002.
Those might sound like bad words to most indie or rap music fans, but I see it as a sign of hope. Polish is exactly what the first two songs I featured this week were lacking.
Today’s track is a duet with Lauryn Hill, another fact that has me excited. The song was recorded in 1994, when Hill was starting out with The Fugees, three years before her acclaimed Miseducation.
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill – Lauryn Hill (1998)
Lauryn Hill’s short stint with The Fugees didn’t prepare anybody for the burst of soulful creativity she unleashed on her solo debut, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. The album, a mix of rap and R&B balladry, was a bona fide hit, going platinum eight times over and winning five Grammys.