Lauryn Hill: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998). Beyond Our Wildest Dreams
B Cox reviews Lauryn Hill's classic debut album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill as turns 25. After a a breakout classic album The Score with The Fugees and a worldwide successful tour, the singer-emcee found herself at a crossroads as she found herself not only in a new relationship with Rohan Marley, but also pregnant. During pregnancy, she took a hiatus from touring and recording and spent time writing for what would be her debut album. After giving birth to her son Zion, she began the process of putting together her album with musicians, vocalists and producers at work to help craft her vision. The album was recored partially in New York, with the rest of the album being recorded in Kingston, Jamaica at Tuff Gong studios.
Utilizing all of her talents, Hill presented the world with her version of her vision, an hour plus opus that covered all of her talents and passions: emceeing, singing, writing and producing. The fusion of sounds of hip-hop, R&B, neo-soul and reggae made for a unicorn of an album. Her themes touched on love, heartbreak, disappointment, confusion and exultation around relationships. Joining her on this album would be the company of fellow legends: guitarist Carlos Santana, Mary J. Blige, D'Angelo as well as featured artists and musicians and producers such as Che "Che Guevera" Pope, James Poyser, "Commissioner" Gordon Williams and John Legend among others.
The album featured up to six singles which became staples of the album: "Lost Ones", "Ex-Factor", "Doo Wap (That Thing)", "Everything Is Everything", "Nothing Even Matters", "For Zion". The album was an immediate commercial and critical success, becoming multiple platinum by the end of the millennium and winning five Grammys at the 1999 Grammy Awards. It is now RIAA-certified diamond and has sold over 20 million copies worldwide. While it remains her only studio album, it continues to reverberate today with its legacy and it often sighted on many lists as one of the greatest music albums of all-time.
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