As a deserving and unintentional tribute to the icon Lauryn Hill’s 20th anniversary of her album the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, two of America’s biggest singles sampled her album –Drake’s “Nice for What “and Cardi B’s “Be Careful”, which both emulate tones and beats from Hill’s “Ex-Factor” .
Released back on August 25, 1998, the “Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” is her first and only solo studio album, becoming a defining release of the time in a plethora of ways. This album is what skyrocketed Hill to stardom, by breaking the record for first week sales by a female artist with over 100,000 copies and earning 10 Grammy nominations and five wins which were the most for a female at that time.
Some of the most pivotal and enticing songs include “Ex-Factor” which is a song that has taken on a new meaning for a generation that was too young to experience “Miseducation “ the first time, and “Doo Wop” (that thing) which remains relevant no matter what era.
Moreover, the two songs in which Drake and Cardi B sample channel the album’s most compelling narrative – the triumph and pain of budding womanhood. In addition, the album was released when she was just 23 years old and it was recorded amongst really defining moments in Hill’s life- The pregnancy and birth of her first child, the disintegration of the Fugees and her break up with her former bandmate Wyclef Jean. These events further compelled her to make a record so raw that it was a classic.
Combining R&B, soul hip-hop and elements of reggae, “Miseducation” is a spiritual journey of the female experience through Hill’s eyes. It has become so profound from such a young artist at the time, that it makes sense that this was the making of a genius.
Hill defied the expectations of what a female artist is supposed to look like and supposed to be portrayed as such as having five more children and stepping out of the spotlight a little after the album was released. The only other drop of music was her 2002 “MTV Unplugged Album” on which her new set of acoustic songs strayed away from her previous hip-hop influences that divided listeners.
Despite the further controversies such as being hours late to her own concerts and the legal fight over her writing credits, it shouldn’t diminish the achievements of the visionary project she’s put together.
Subsequently, it shouldn’t take a Drake or Cardi B song to bring Hill back into the conversation of culture. And although this weekend is the “Miseducation” anniversary, and fellow journalists and fans all over the internet will be a part of it, her name should not be pushed to the wayside in the conversation about hip- hops greatest and brightest people.