Lauryn Hill… Whatever, Man

I’m gonna go ahead and put this out there at the risk of having to taste my own Dunks: while Lauryn Hill could be considered one of the greatest female lyricists and musicians of all time, at the end of the day she’s not going to be. Hell, I’m gonna probably shove my size 12 down my mouth further: I’m predicting that the Lauryn Hill we all loved, respected and adored is never coming back.

The last time Ms. Hill was sonically relevant I, alongside most of my high school classmates, got kicked out of Six Flags Magic Mountain for rocking a lot of red and blue in our outfits (high schoolers do doofy things like that sometimes), and I ended up putting my fist through a cop’s driver side window (I can be volatile like that sometimes). During that time Lauryn had just spilt from the Fugees, dropped her Illmatic of an album and had the music world at her beck and call.

Then… she vanished.

Amidst the plethora of infidelity rumors from her husband, the many lawsuits and the all-around pressures of being anointed as one of the most sonically pervasive and widely recognized artists “of our generation”, Lauryn flipped and essentially fell off the face of the earth. And whenever the musical unicorn decides to pop up underneath a rainbow, we’re “blessed” with sporadic performances, a lot of tears and nonstop ramblings about an album that’s seen more delays than Detox.

I mean damn, even Chinese Democracy came out eventually.

Now, I have the utmost respect for Lauryn Hill, going all the way back to her Sister Act 2 days when she was the fly shorty with the just-long-enough Catholic school girl skirt and the chunky dookie braids. She Eminem’d Pras and Wyclef (we’re not gonna talk about that guy) every time she spat a verse or sang a song on The Score or Clef’s The Carnival. But we haven’t seen anything new her since MTV Unplugged No. 2.0 way back in 2001, and that’s more recognized for the “Mystery Of Iniquity” sample found on Kanye’s “All Falls Down.” And at this point, I’ve all but given up on her dropping new tunes, despite what she told TMZ a few weeks ago.

But who knows, maybe (and I’m actually hoping) I’m proven wrong and the music world finally gets some new Lauryn Hill music it desperately needs. But lately, any news about her is akin to premature ejaculation for the soul: she will over-excite all of us, and then quickly let us down. Word to the Rock The Bells rumors that popped up last night. I’m still holding a candlelit vigil on this, Ms. Hill’s 35th birthday, that her mind will return from whatever land it escaped to during her troubles to deliver some of that tangible, great music we all know she can deliver. But I’m not optimistic about those chances at all.

And while I’m at it, where the fuck is D’Angelo?

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    • POE

      get da fuck outta here fam…no other female in hip hop history got or had flo like that..this bullshit dats out now..nikki minaj ….please…will never touch ms hill…u jus tryin 2 get sum feedback or sumthin…drake wit his lil singin n rappin ….cant fuck wit her get cha weight up….no more 2 even say on this 1 fam..

    • http://www.myspace.com/mexplains M.Explains

      I agree that in this era of releasing a mixtape every week to keep ‘relevant’ Ms.hill/Marley is moving at what would be considered snail pace but lets be honest, her unplugged release was a master stroke therefore in my eyes a more than substantial offering.Consider this:Who has ever presented on that platform a complete body of never heard before material? She made history with that move alone.And the proof of that is no-one has really stepped up to do an unplugged of any merit since, thats very telling.The topics she was dealing with were clearly a type of real the average hip-hopper didn’t want to deal with at the time i guess.This was reflected in the ‘She mad’ opinion everybody had of her to avoid having to self evaluate.Imagine all this from a culture she tried to provide good art for.Why shouldn’t she be jaded.,fans love you today speculate your fall tomorrow.why not just raise your kids and live to your spec.I have no doubt that in terms of creativity her archive must be frightening at this point,she’ll drop a double LP and set the pace -again.Same with D’angelo although in his case I think he knows his inspiration created equally legendary artist like Bilal and Van Hunt (Who is this era’s Prince IMO)which in turn has probably caused him to dig even deeper to produce that undeniable classic.That all said,I choose to just be patient with certain types of artist as i know when they do land it changes the game.
      Over and Out

  • http://twitter.com/SwagMustDie TruHipHop

    yeah, as much as I would love to hear new material from Ms. Hill, I also have given up hope

  • Jessica L

    THIS IS BULLSHIT….Kanye’s sampling of her song did nothing for her CD…hell, he didnt even use her in the song, he got someone else to sing her lyrics!!! And if you listened to the CD you would know that lyrically and vocally it was one of the best albums created…crediting Kanye for adding anything to the quality or popularity of the album is fuckery…Lauryn Hill IS and WILL ALWAYS BE one of the greatest, whether she returns or not!!!!

    • Lowedwn

      She was sampled on the original version of “All Falls Down”, but the label wouldn’t clear it for the album, thum Syleena Johnson was brought in to re-create the sample. And your reaching, that Unplugged album was half and half, for every song that was indeed brilliant, some shit was just eh.

  • Lowedwn

    Man I can’t do anything but fully co-sign this post. I too miss Lauryn Hill and want her back, the real, coherent Ms. Hill that is. But truth be told, until she gets her mind right I don’t wanna see or hear her, we don’t need another Whitney-like situation. But yeah I was kinda bummed she won’t be at RTB, but the line-up crazy regardless.

    And where is that new D’angelo album dammit, Lynwood Rose too. Maxwell got his shit together, c’mon Mr. Archer.

    • Letmetellit

      I was thinking of Maxwell as well. He took 8 years between albums. Hell, Sade took 10 years between Lovers Rock and Soldier of Love. And Soldier of Love was far from a dissappointment. So there is a chance that L Boogie will get get the itch to share her music again.

  • http://www.twitter.com/classicmaterial @classicmaterial

    D’Angelo was last seen getting arrested for soliciting an undercover cop

  • ff1one@yahoo.com

    man, l Boogie doesn’t even have to come back. her body of work and her body speaks for itself. People don’t understand her, Chapelle, Richard Pryor and several others who have reached that level of success. We all know she has the talent, so if she does i’ll embrace it.

  • fattastically dope

    real talk. and cosign where the fuck is D’Angelo

  • Doodliterature

    can you say Jay Electronica 5 years from now?

  • Chilly Willy

    On the real, that Marley Brother Special will fuck you up too. Just one puff and next thing you know fine ass Rita Louise Watson become a ghoulish afrocentric clown….

    A shame, really….

  • J-Osh

    Where is D’Angelo indeed.

  • http://www.sensimedia.net primo

    Yeah she’s really gonna have to bring somethin fresh and she’s about due, too.

    As someone mentioned, D’angelo just got himself in even more trouble recently.

    Couple of my favorite artists who I still keep in rotation to this day…even show my 10 year old daughter those albums. It’s so unfortunate.

  • doclvly

    the few singles shes put out don’t compare to her old work. My hopes not compleatly gone , but it i s dwindeling.

    She will be remembered as great, that is without a doubt, and easily one of the best female MC’s if not just in my top 20 rappers I study

  • Anonymous

    Jean Grae can go toe to toe wit Lauryn

    • El Tico Loco

      Jean Grae is obviously very respectful of LH because she could’ve took her lane and filled the void LH left.

  • http://ipodammo.com Ammo

    Naa B. Nneka is killing the “Musical Unicorn” void right now. . .A worthy competitor.

  • nicholasdelorejo

    No offense but you must be crazy not to think that Lauren Hill wouldn’t be able to come back in the music industry. She may have lost relevance in the minds of hip-hop heads but she can still reinvent herself to completly be a Neo-soul and R&B artist. Shit that last Maxwell album has managed to go platinum and he’s currently on tour. Monica’s recent album has gone gold in about 2 months which would’ve taken way longer for any Raekwon or Wu album. Not saying sales determine the quality of an album but it’s obvious that past R&B artists have a greater success at returning to mainstream that past rap artists.

    Clearly appealing to hip-hop heads doesn’t gaurentee success commercially. Heads can shit on Jay-z all they want be the fact remains that BP3 has sold 1.7 million. So why would Lauren Hill care if any of us would welcome her back in rap when she’s talented enough to acheive a wider consumer base. And lets be honest most people know Hill for being a sings that raps a little and not the other way around.

  • Leen

    Man this is ridiculous to me. Your point of view though. Nothing much. Lauryn is supposed to have lost her
    So you’re supposed to drop something every 2 years to be a ”respected” artist right? Even is your release an all time masterpiece such as ”The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill”?
    You’re supposed to be commercially productive to hold your position?… Otherwise it erase your credits.
    Lauryn has left all of that, that all industrial production of music. She clearly expressed it and as a matter fact acknowledged the fact that she’ll be misunderstood by people who wanted her to pursue a career as the young successful Fugees. Lauryn is somewhere else ”spiritually”. She had many issues, personnal issues even some health and psychological retreat. Being an human being… OK she deceived because her talent was promising much more music material. But you CAN’T take away her credit.
    Will she be back? … Maybe. Maybe not. Certainly not like people (you?) expect her to be. And personally I respect her even more for that.
    Comparing Lauryn and Nneka or whoever is also an non sense to me. They are different artists, the expresses different things, they may have a style close to each other but I don’t see the comparison… Again. Typically a industry point of view. Putting people into boxes.
    Hopefully Lauryn will come back… but to me she’s never left.

  • ruthless

    Lauryn Hill has talent unlike the writer of this blog

  • Malik

    I love the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and all, but niggas REALLY need to stop forcing it with saying she’s the best female rapper of all time. Jean Grae is better. Hell she’s beyond the lame box of a “female rapper” (a term that EVERYONE should stop using regardless). She can pretty much kill everyone’s favorite rapper.

  • Dub

    Lauryn Hill is comin out right after Detox 4

    • rita

      yup…Right after dextox 4….and i would still cop that shit

    • oskamadison

      …and DMX emerges from rehab clean and sober.

  • Leen

    Y’all seriously need to quit comparing. Jean Grae? She’s a mad rapper but I don’t see where you wanna compare.
    Plus… Lauryn is not only a rapper. Singer. Producer.

  • Jhon da Analyst

    Lauryn could be makin movies like Latifah. Shit, then I would understand a drop in her musical output. Point blank, she got with that dickhead Rohan Marley he fucked her head up, put about 5 babies in her and she hasn’t been the same since. She was probably infatuated cause he’s Bob Marley’s son. “What a mind job”(Cypher from the Matrix). Oh yeah, Wyclef had something to do with dat shit too. I figured she had enough knowledge of self to get through the shit, but apparently not. You used to be my baby Lauryn, now you’re just like the crazy lady on the elevator….

  • oskamadison

    There was a time when L Boogie was one of the illest MC’s walking. If I ever get around to listing my top 5 favorite verses of all time, her joint from “How Many Mics” is guaranteed a slot. And I was mad the first time I heard Nas’ “If I ruled The World” and realized that L didn’t have a verse. Nas and L Boogie together?!! Would have been crazy. While I would rank Rah Digga the illest female battle MC of all time (sidebar: it could be argued that Ms. Hill might have borrowed elements of Digga’s style on “The Score” but that’s another convo), as far as an all around artist, Lauryn gets the nod. Funny how her and D’Angelo’s careers have taken similar arcs. Which reminds me: “Nothing Even Matters”. A heavenly piece of soul music.
    We need both of them back like 5 years ago.

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  • Vis

    I got “new” music by Lauryn Hill. Forget what you’re talking bout. Ms. Hill the greatest hits and Khulami Phase (updated version) are dope. Along with Miseducation and the 2 disc Unplugged that’s five discs worth of music. Plus those two joints J Period put out. So all in all, I’m not lacking for any “new” Lauryn Hill. I’m still getting through what I have currently.

    What I am lacking is a new Fugees Tape.

    Be ease

  • Leen

    Good point Vis. That Khulami Phase bring some good joints.