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?