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Written By: Jewels Alexandria

(6 Minute Read)

How often do you get an album where every track slaps? Not just musically but intellectually too? Albums like that seem to be getting further and further apart and to be quite honest it is a bit depressing. In the oversaturated music world, Lauryn Hill’s, Miseducation of Lauryn Hill not only has aged beautifully but has become a Bible to the perfect mixture of Hip Hop and Rhythm and Blues.

To celebrate 23 years of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, The Juke Joint would like to highlight Ms. Hills impact. Not only to Hip Hop but to the black community. She took a chance, a huge one at that, to go solo and released a damn near perfect album. (Her one and only album). At the young age of 22 and pregnant, she proved did not need The Fugees to shine. When the quadruple threat Queen left the music industry, its like she ripped the heart out of Hip Hop.

Ms. Lauryn was so far ahead of her time. She understood life on a level that takes many of us years to piece together. One of her most famous and relevant songs, Doo Wop (That’s Thing), addresses both black men and women. In a way that is so true you can not deny her outlook on life. Or her genius to attempt to educate on things that are so irrelevant or relevant for that matter. “Showin off your ass ‘cause you thinking it’s a trend,” or for the men, “more concerned with his runs and his Timbs than his women.” Or how about the track with the album’s title. Although, she was speaking of herself, this song can be squeezed into one’s own life. “Every time I’ve tried to be what someone else thought of me, so caught up, I wasn’t able to achieve.” These are things she figured out at 22. I mean, what did you know at 22? I sure did not understand life the way she wrote about it.

And let’s take a moment to acknowledge her use of intelligent wording. She was not afraid to use words, most of us had no clue what it meant. But then again, that is another way she was able to educate. And her rap style was pure, it is no wonder Wyclef needed her apart of The Fugees. The song Final Hour truly displays her talent for play on words and the amount of intelligence a woman of such a young age had. And even though all she knew; she was aware enough to know there is much more to learn.

To follow her debut solo project came the MTV unplugged live album. Although, this did not get as much praise as Miseducation, she took to the stage to give us the raw form of her. No perfect sounding vocals or immaculate guitar skills but the real her. Her intimate self.

Today, artist like H.E.R, Rapsody and Teyana Taylor mimic a style similar to Ms. Lauryn Hill. She is constantly mentioned in several rap songs and referenced as a woman who men desire. When you think of Hip Hop and R&B, Lauryn Hill is always at the top of the list. And 23 years later it still one of the most important and beautiful albums the world has ever seen.

Thank you Ms. Lauryn Hill. Here are the flowers while you can still smell them.

August 25, 2021

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