Lauryn Hill - The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill by VOFO.
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is the debut solo album by American singer and rapper Lauryn Hill. It was released on August 25, 1998, by Ruffhouse Records and Columbia Records. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is a neo soul and R&B album with some songs based in hip hop soul and reggae. Its lyrics touch upon Hill's pregnancy and the turmoil within her former group the Fugees, along with themes of love and God. The album's title was inspired by the film and autobiographical novel The Education of Sonny Carson, and Carter G. Woodson's The Mis-Education of the Negro.
Lauryn Noelle Hill (born May 26, 1975) is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, record producer and actress. She is often regarded as one of the greatest rappers of all time, as well as being one of the most influential singers of her generation. Hill is credited for breaking barriers for female rappers, popularizing melodic rapping and for bringing hip hop and neo soul to popular music. She is known for being a member of Fugees and her solo album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, which became one of the best-selling albums of all-time. Hill has won many awards, including eight Grammy Awards, the most for a female rapper.
Raised mostly in South Orange, New Jersey, Hill began singing with her music-oriented family during her childhood. In high school, Hill was approached by Pras Michel for a band he started, which his cousin Wyclef Jean soon joined. They renamed themselves the Fugees and released the albums Blunted on Reality (1994) and the Grammy Award-winning The Score (1996), which sold seven million copies in the U.S.
Hill has said of her musically oriented family: "there were so many records, so much music constantly being played. My mother played the piano, my father sang, and we were always surrounded by music." Her father sang in local nightclubs and at weddings.
Pras, Hill and Jean renamed their group the Fugees, a derivative of the word "refugee", which was a derogatory term for Haitian Americans. Hill began a romantic relationship with Jean. The Fugees, who signed a contract with Columbia/Ruffhouse Records in 1993, became known for their genre blending, particularly of reggae, rock and soul.
In 1997, the Fugees split to work on solo projects, which Jean later blamed on his tumultuous relationship with Hill and the fact he married his wife Claudinette while still involved with Hill. Meanwhile, in the summer of 1996 Hill had met Rohan Marley, a son of Bob Marley and a former University of Miami football player. On August 3, 1997, Marley and Hill's first child, Zion David, was born.
During 2000, Hill dropped out of the public eye. The pressures of fame began to overwhelm her. She disliked not being able to go out of her house to do simple errands without having to worry about her physical appearance. She fired her management team and began attending Bible study classes five days a week; she also stopped doing interviews, watching television and listening to music.
The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 422,624 copies in its first week, which broke a record for first-week sales by a female artist. It was promoted with the release of the hit singles "Doo Wop (That Thing)", "Ex-Factor", and "Everything Is Everything", while "Lost Ones" and "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" were released as promotional singles. To further promote the album, Hill made televised performances on Saturday Night Live and the Billboard Music Awards before embarking on a sold-out, worldwide concert tour.
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill was among the most acclaimed albums of 1998, as most critics praised Hill's presentation of a woman's view on life and love, along with her artistic range. At the 41st Annual Grammy Awards, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill earned 10 nominations, winning five awards, making Hill the first woman to receive that many nominations and awards in one night.
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Intro" Lauryn Hill 0:47
2. "Lost Ones" Lauryn Noelle Hill • HillChe PopeVada Nobles 5:33
3. "Ex-Factor" Hill Hill 5:26
4. "To Zion" (featuring Carlos Santana) Hill • HillGuevara 6:08
5. "Doo Wop (That Thing)" Hill Hill 5:19
6. "Superstar" • HillJohari NewtonJames Poyser Hill 4:56
7. "Final Hour" Hill Hill 4:15
8. "When It Hurts So Bad" Hill Hill 5:42
9. "I Used to Love Him" (featuring Mary J. Blige) Hill Hill 5:39
10. "Forgive Them Father" Hill Hill 5:15
11. "Every Ghetto, Every City" Hill Hill 5:14
12. "Nothing Even Matters" (featuring D'Angelo) Hill Hill 5:49
13. "Everything Is Everything" • HillJ. Newton Hill 4:58
14. "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" • HillTejumold Newton Hill 4:17
Total length: 69:20
With the album's success, Hill became a national media icon, as magazines ranging from Time to Esquire to Teen People vied to place her on their front covers. In a February 8, 1999, Time cover-story, Hill was credited for helping fully assimilate hip hop into mainstream music, making her the first hip hop artist to ever appear on the magazine's front cover.
On The Miseducation's fifteenth anniversary in 2014, American rapper Nas reviewed the album for XXL, hailing it as a model for artists of all genres to follow. He also called it "a timeless record, pure music", and said it "represents the time period—a serious moment in Black music, when young artists were taking charge and breaking through doors." In 2015, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the Library of Congress and selected for inclusion in the National Recording Registry, becoming the first debut album by a solo artist to receive this honor. In 2017, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill was among the first batch of albums to preserved in Harvard University's Loeb Music Library. The album has also been included in the Smithsonian National Museum of African American history.
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill has since appeared on a number of lists ranking the greatest albums ever; according to Acclaimed Music, it is the 113th most acclaimed album based on such rankings.
Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
About.com United States 100 Greatest Hip-Hop Albums 2008 43
Best Rap Albums of 1998 2008 1
Associated Press The 10 Best Albums of the 1990s 1999 *
Blender 500 CDs You Must Own Before You Die 2003 *
The 100 Greatest American Albums of All time 2002 75
CD Now The 10 (+5) Essential Records of the 90s 2002 *
Ego trip Hip Hop's 25 Greatest Albums by Year 1980–98 1999 4
Hip Hop's 25 Greatest Albums by Year 1980–98 1999 5
Entertainment Weekly The 100 Best Albums from 1983 to 2008 2008 2
30 essential albums from the last 30 years 2020 *
Gear The 100 Greatest Albums of the Century 1999 88
Ink Blot Best Albums of the 90s 2000 9
Kitsap Sun Top 200 Albums of the Last 40 Years 2005 65
NPR The 150 Greatest Albums Made By Women 2017 2
Turning The Tables: The 150 Greatest Albums Made By Women (As Chosen By You) 2018 3
Nude as the News The 100 Most Compelling Albums of the 90s 1999 40
Pause & Play 10 Albums of the 90's 2003 *
Albums Inducted into a Time Capsule 2003 *
The 90s Top 100 Essential Albums 1999 7
Robert Dimery 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die 2005 *
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 200 Definitive Albums of All Time 2007 55
Rolling Stone 50 Essential Female Albums 2002 32
500 Greatest Albums of All Time 2020 10
The Essential Recordings of the 90s 1999 *
100 Best Albums of the Nineties 2011 5
The Source The Critics Top 100 Black Music Albums of All Time 2006 10
Spin Top 100 (+5) Albums of the Last 20 Years 2005 49
Top 90 Albums of the 90s 1999 28
Tom Moon 1000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die 2008 *
VH1 The 100 Greatest Albums of R 'N' R 2001 37
Vibe 150 Albums That Define the Vibe Era 2007 *
51 Albums representing a Generation, a Sound and a Movement 2004 *
BBC Radio United Kingdom Stuart Maconie's Critical List 1999 17
Channel 4 The 100 Greatest Albums 2005 *
Elvis Costello 500 Albums You Need 2000 *
Gary Mulholland 261 Greatest Albums Since Punk and Disco 2006 *
The Guardian 1000 Albums to Hear Before You Die 2007 *
Hip-Hop Connection The 100 Greatest Rap Albums 1995–2005 2005 39
Metro Times Top 10 Albums of the 90s 1999 8
Mojo The 100 Greatest Albums of Our Lifetime 1993–2006 2006 67
The Mojo Collection 2007 *
The New Nation Top 100 Albums by Black Artists 2003 10
Q 90 Albums of the 90s 1999 *
The Ultimate Music Collection 2005 41
Top 100 Albums Ever 2003 20
The Rough Guide Soul: 100 Essential CDs 2000 *
Aftenposten Norway Top 50 Albums of All Time 1999 48
Eggen & Kartvedt The Guide to the 100 Important Rock Albums 1999 *
Helsingin Sanomat Finland 50th Anniversary of Rock 2004 2
Musik Express Germany The 50 Best Albums of the 90s 2005 23
Wiener Austria The 100 Best Albums of the 20th Century 1999 100
Fnac France The 1000 Best Albums of All Time 2008 420
Rock & Folk The Best Albums from 1963 to 1999 1999 *
Dance de Lux Spain The 25 Best Hip-Hop Records 2001 12
Rock de Lux The 150 Best Albums from the 90s 2000 132
Juice Australia The 100 (+34) Greatest Albums of the 90s 1999 55
Babylon Greece The 50 Best Albums of the 1990s 1999 45
Pure Pop Mexico The 50 Best Albums of the 90s 2000 40
The Sun Canada The Best Albums from 1971 to 2000 2001 *
(*) designates lists that are unordered
Miseducation remains Hill's only studio album. After its success, the singer shunned her celebrity status and pursued a private life while raising six children, but both personal and professional difficulties followed.
Along with having a successful music career as a member of The Fugees and as a solo artist, Hill also achieved success as a songwriter and producer for other artists. Hill has written songs for Aretha Franklin, Mary J. Blige, CeCe Winans and produced songs for Whitney Houston and Santana, among others.