Saturday, 17 July 2010
IS LAURYN HILL COMING BACK FOR REAL?
The news about the possible release of a new Lauryn Hill album put a smile on my face. Different thoughts danced in my head and I started to think of what her new material would sound like. Would she retain her old musical style that was sweet like chocolate but also admonishing us to take a careful look at our lives, or would she come up with fresh music and infuse other genres into her sound? I've not received answers to my questions, but what I'm sure of is that L.Boogie is not going to pander to what the executives running her record label want. She will remain true to herself and her fans as usual.
Lauryn Hill told USA Today: 'There were a number of different reasons why I left, but partly, the support system that I needed was not necessarily in place. There were things about myself, personal-growth things, which I had to go through in order to feel like it was worth it. As musicians and artists, it's important we have an environment and I guess when I say environment, I really mean the music industry that really nurtures these gifts.' Lauryn has not been around for about 11 years. She has spent her time loving her husband, Rohan Marley [ Robert Nesta Marley's son ], taking care of their five children and recording new songs. After thrilling us with her critically acclaimed solo album 'The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill' ( Columbia/Ruffhouse 1998 ), Lauryn dropped another album titled 'MTV Unplugged No 2.0' in 2001. This album contained songs she performed at that year's MTV Unplugged Special. Though the album was panned by a good number of music critics and not seen as a good follow up to 'The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill' by a section of her fans, it went platinum four weeks after release.
Lauryn's staying power remains one of her enduring qualities. I find it amazing that her song 'Mystery of Iniquity' got nominated for a Grammy Award though it was not promoted or played on the radio. While she was away, a lot of blogs and websites were dedicated to her with many of her fans practically asking her to get back into the studios. I missed Lauryn Hill terribly during her self imposed exile from music. I'm playing her debut CD as I write this piece. 'The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill' had the highest first week sales of any album by a female artist in History ( 423,000 copies sold in first week after release ). The album also topped the Billboard 200 albums chart for 4 weeks with Lauryn earning $25 Million from record sales and touring between 1998 and 1999. 'The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill' received 10 Grammy nominations with Lauryn taking home 5 Grammy Awards including Album of the year [ 1998 ].
Lauryn Noel Hill, who's written and produced hit songs for Aretha Franklin and Cece Winans, was born in 1975 to Valerie Hill and Mal Hill in South Orange, New Jersey. She displayed her artistic abilities to the world when at age 13, she appeared on 'Amateur Night' on Showtime at the Apollo. Though she lost the competition, Lauryn's vision was strong. While in High School, She formed The Fugees with Wyclef Jean and his cousin Prakazrel Michel. The group's album 'The Score' won two Grammy Awards for Best Rap Album and Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group. Fugees became the largest selling rap group of all time and the members dispersed to work on individual projects later on. Though Wyclef Jean has been the most consistent Fugee in terms of musical output, Lauryn Hill has remained larger than life and popular than Clef and Praz.
Though I'm excited with the prospects of Lauryn's return to the music scene, I've got my doubts about the news. RV has gathered that the 35 year old gave a brilliant performance at the Harmony Festival in Santa Rosa, California, early this month. We've also been told that Lauryn Plans to perform at the Rock The Bells Festival series in August. However, we've always been told of Lauryn's comeback for many years only to be disappointed. What about the concerts she bungled at the last minute and her clash with officials of the Roman Catholic Church in 2003? Lauryn had denounced the church due to molestations of boys by Catholic priests in the USA during a concert at the Vatican. The Catholic League responded by saying she was 'Pathologically Miserable' and that her career was declining. She has also failed to calm down and ensure a Fugees Reunion. And what about the average performances she gave out at concerts in recent years? I'm only holding on to what she told Npr.Com-
' It is just time. I'm starting to get excited again'. Lets hope she sticks to her words this time around. Welcome back, L Boogie.
Sources: timeslive.co.za, mtv.com, Wikipedia, tv.com, RV.