By Ethan Hamilton
It’s Women’s History Month, and I thought that for this piece I would talk about one of the most influential R&B albums ever created by one of the most influential female MC’s ever: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill came out in the summer of 1998 and was an instant hit. It debuted at number one on the Billboard Top 200 and sold 400,000+ units the first week, which broke the record for the most first-week sales ever by a female artist. Not only did the album receive commercial success, but it was received by critics as well.
Hill got nominated for an incredible 10 Grammys and won five of them including “Album of the Year,” which broke the record for the most Grammys for a female artist at the time. She did all of this at the age of 22 while pregnant with her first child and already being a decorated MC with The Fugees. Hill is an inspiration for women everywhere.
Besides the many accolades and commercial success, the album has transcended time and has been deemed classic by music lovers alike. Many of the singles off of the album have gone on to have a life of their own such as “Ex-Factor” and “Doo Wop (That Thing)” for those who were too young to experience the album at its apex. In fact, Drake sampled “Ex-Factor” on his number one single “Nice For What.”
Hill was able to channel the pain and strength of womanhood. She embeds that raw emotion and channels it throughout the album.
Miseducation was created during some of the most impactful events of Hill’s life. Hill recorded the album when she was pregnant with her first child, during the split-up of The Fugees, and the breakup with her former partner and bandmate Wyclef Jean.
By tying together elements of R&B, soul, hip-hop and reggae, Hill was able to create a record that encapsulates the female condition through her eyes. Miseducation is a fantastic interpretation of the raw emotion of Hill’s experience in her early life. The genius-level creativity was executed to the utmost perfection from a genius artist.
Miseducation gave life to the female condition in a way that was never seen before, and in Women’s History Month, after more than 20 years since its release, its mark is still alive and well and a fantastic work of art from one of the greatest female pioneers.
Featured image via XXL Magazine.