On this day, August 25, in hip-hop history…
1998: Few albums in hip-hop history have reverberated as loudly as Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill. Released in August 1998, the album would go to dominate the Grammy Awards earning five awards – including the coveted Album Of The Year trophy – and becoming both massively critically acclaimed and beloved amongst fans to this day.
In the aftermath of the brutal breakups of the Fugees and Lauryn’s intimate relationship with band member, Wyclef Jean, The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill would be an album coded in the personal struggles of it’s creator. Dealing with issues of motherhood, loss, spirituality and relationship struggles, Lauryn created an album that felt like the personal anthem for struggling, young women everywhere.
A diverse album musically, Lauryn explores the boundaries of hip-hop by incorporating elements of rap, neo-soul, reggae and R&B on the album. Hill’s remarkable talents form a cohesive album that feels fresh and triumphant while still dealing with some of the realest ideals of personal struggle that an artist has ever placed on wax. Songs like “To Zion,” “When It Hurts So Bad”, “Lost Ones” and “Ex-Factor” bleed with raw emotion and personal gravitas proving that Hill was not only one of her generation’s respected MCs but a transcendent talent that knew few boundaries.
Although The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill would remain Hill’s only studio album of her career, its reputation has grown boundaries since then. The legendary rapper, Nas, sung the album’s praises in a recent issue of XXL saying that the album “demaned the whole world pay attention, so the music had to be dynamic, and she represents that.” Few words can better describe the impact this album retains to this day.