August 25th marks the 20th Anniversary of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, an album that boasts lyrical style and creativity, spun by the female pioneer aka master. Hill was on a stage all to her own, spinning crafted tunes of elemental style and flair. She jarred you from one mood to the next, in a spasmatic hip hop beat which could flow as smooth and easy as the wind. One song started with an intro of a man interviewing a class of children giggling when asked what “love” meant to them. The next song would build an entirely new momentum, as she belted out a warning to all men on why they need to be more respectful toward women, giving them whiplash in the process. The album was woven together with care and dedication.
Aside from the 20th Anniversary celebrations, which took place just a few days ago, Hill responded to accusations from musician, Robert Glasper who claims she “stole music” for her album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. The eight-time Grammy Award Winner wrote an essay to clear the air, which includes the following:
“The Miseducation was the first time I worked with musicians outside of the Fugees who’s report and working relationship was clear. In an effort to create the same level of comfort, I may not have established the necessary boundaries and may have been more inviting than I should have been. In hindsight, I would have handled it differently for the removal of any confusion. And I have handled it differently since, I’m clear and I make clear before someone walks in the door what I am and am not looking for. I may have been inclusive, but these are my songs.”
“I remix my songs live because I haven’t released an album in several years,” Ms. Hill wrote. “There’s a ton of backstory as to why, but there’s no way I could continue to play the same songs over and over as long as I’ve been performing them without some variation and exploration. I’m not a robot. If I’d had additional music out, perhaps I would have kept them as they were. I didn’t, so I revise and rearrange them according to what I’m feeling in that moment. This way, my performances are heartfelt and authentic, not me just going through the motions. I can’t imagine why that would be a foreign concept to anyone who appreciates jazz.”
She also credited her lateness to shows to caring too much and wanting to give her fans a great experience. “Me being late to shows isn’t because I don’t respect my fans or their time, but the contrary, It can be argued that I care too much, and insist on things being right,” Ms. Hill proclaimed.
“I like to switch my show up regularly, change arrangements, add new songs, etc. This often leads to long sound checks, which leads to doors opening late, which leads to the show getting a late start. This element of perfectionism is about wanting the audience to experience the very best and most authentic musical experience they can from what I do.” To read the full essay, please visit Hill’s Twitter page, link below.
Photo credit: Marv Watson