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“The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill”: best album of all-time

Miseducation+of+Lauryn+Hill+album+cover+
Photo by Eric Johnson
Miseducation of Lauryn Hill album cover

“The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” is a declaration of independence: an enduring message of love, and a breakup letter to the world. Hill Lays down the blueprint of what love should be, and in doing so, creates a beautiful narrative. It is not only the best hip hop, or R&B album: “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” is the best album of all time. 

Released in 1988, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” quite literally changed the world of hip-hop following the deaths of the genre’s biggest names, Tupak Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. The world of hip hop was in desperate need of something new, something monumental: Lauryn Hill. 

One of the best aspects about the album is that it cannot be defined to just one genre. As Hill once explained to Rolling Stone magazine, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” incorporates elements of reggae, hip-hop, R&B and pop. 

“I wanted to write songs that lyrically move me and have the integrity of reggae and the knock of hip-hop and the instrumentation of classic soul. My engineer and I worked on a sound that’s raw,” Hill said.

The album includes 16 unskippable tracks, and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 in 1988.  The album changed the way fans view music: Hill called for more vulnerability in hip-hop, and led the way for artists such as Kanye West and H.E.R.  Hill was one of the first to pour her soul into a hip-hop album. “Miseducation” deals with all aspects of Hill’s life, from her experiences with pregnancy and hatred, along with her approaches to love and religion. She is completely vulnerable and was one of the first hip-hop artists to do so. 

For example, “Forgive them Father” is not only about religion and forgiveness, but speaks to Hill’s philosophy. She urges listeners to be attentive to those around them, as not everyone has their best interests at heart. Hill is utterly passionate on this track, and her convictions show through the music. Hill sings while Shelly Turner raps upon a Caribbean style rhythm and beat. The song is a beautiful ode to “Concrete Jungle” by Bob Marley. 

“Doo Wop (That Thing)” quickly solidified itself as the stand out track, and one of Hill’s most popular songs to date. The song has a fantastic beat, with a rhythmic hook, “Doo wop” was an instant classic and an amazing record to this date

The success of “Miseducation” was completely unpredictable. By the end of its first year, Hill, formerly of The Fugees, had sold 2.9 million copies, and propelled herself into international superstardom. Today, the album has sold over 10 million copies. 

Lauryn Hill performs at the Kongsberg Jazzfestival in Buskerud, Norway in 2019. (Photo by © Tore Sætre 2019)

The album received five out of 10 awards at the 1999 GRAMMYs, making Hill the first female artist to obtain five awards in one single night. Hill was up against amazing artists for Album of the Year including Madonna (“Ray of Light”) and Shania Twain (“Come On Over”), but she took home the statue. While accepting Album of the Year, Hill said, “This is crazy because this is hip-hop music.”

“The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill ” was a cultural reset; with this album, Hill distinguished herself as a visionary, and one of the best lyricists of her time. Listeners will feel her presence with every song: it is expressive and loud. “Miseducationis the definition of soul. Hill had an authenticity that a majority of today’s rappers lack.  The album was a masterpiece, and is credited with inspiring many artists, including J Cole, Drake, Elle Mai, Nas, and Nicki Minaj. The legacy of the album lives on 25 years later through these artists, and through Hill as well: the 48-year-old is now gearing up for her 25th Anniversary Tour with shows all across the country, proving the album’s – and the artist’s – longevity.

 

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About the Contributor
Karidja Monjolo
Karidja Monjolo, Managing Editor
Karidja Monjolo is a senior, and this is her third year on the Wildcat Chronicle. She participates in WeGo Drama, and is an active member of the French Honor Society. Her hobbies include reading, writing, and sewing. Karidja is still unsure about what she would like to do in the future, but knows she would like to pursue a career in writing. 
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  • Leslie FiremanOct 26, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Haha, Mr. Aiello! That last line was quite funny.

    Surprised that “1989” and “Recovery” made your list. You have very eccletic music taste.

  • Mr. AielloOct 26, 2023 at 7:10 pm

    Although “Greatest Album of All Time” seems a bit blasphemous to me, I may need to give it a listen.

    Personally, I’d but Eminem’s “Recovery”, Taylor Swifts “1989”, or Eric Church’s “Record Year” as the best albums I’ve heard.

    Ironically, the concept of an album has all but died. I believe fellow chronicle reporter Michael Birdsell would agree (Definitely didn’t just read his article on streaming)

    Shout out to the chronicle for helping me get through parent teacher conferences.