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August 25 marks the 25th anniversary of the release of “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.” To commemorate the release of her critically acclaimed debut album. Ms. Hill announced that she is doing a 25th anniversary world tour, featuring her former bandmates – The Fugees – who will be opening shows for the U.S. tour dates.
In 1998, Neo-Soul was still in its infancy, and Hip-Hop transcended from its adolescence to a full-grown adult who found its identity and was ready to take on the world. The cultural frequently debates, “What is the greatest year in Hip-Hop?” Was it ’88, ’93, ’94, ’96 or ’98?
Albeit, a subjective question, 1998 is rarely, if ever, not in the conversation and is often considered the greatest year in Hip-Hop history. Many artists had their break-out year in 1998: DMX, Jay-Z, OutKast and Juvenile to name a few. However, there is one artist who holds the crown for 1998: Ms. Lauryn Hill. Her debut album made history that has stood the test of time.
The 1999 Grammy awards was one for the books as Ms. Hill became the first Hip-Hop artist to win a Grammy for Album of the Year and took home a total of 5 Grammy Awards as a solo artist. Outkast’s Speakerboxxx/ The Love Below is the only other rap album in the past 25 years to win the prestigious award.
Lauryn Hill’s 17-date tour will kick off in Minnesota on September 8th at Mystic Amphitheater and will wrap up on November 9th in Seattle at the Climate Pledge Arena.
The Miseducation of Her Tardiness
Perhaps, the title of her iconic debut album was a foreshadowing of how she knew she would be perceived in the future when it comes to performances and expected album releases. Throughout the years of Ms. Hill touring, she has garnished a reputation of being late to her shows. It has been reported that she has shown up two or more hours late to a show. Ms. Hill has conducted many interviews over the years, addressing her tardiness to her performances.
In an excerpt from an extended post on Facebook in 2016, Ms. Hill proclaimed, “I don’t show up late to shows because I don’t care, and I have nothing but Love and respect for my fans.”
“The challenge is aligning my energy with the time, taking something that isn’t easily classified or contained, and trying to make it available for others.” She continued, “I don’t have an on/off switch. I am at my best when I am open, rested, sensitive and liberated to express myself as truthfully as possible.”
New tour could lead to more albums
Ms. Hill is conscious of the chatter from her fans about her tardiness. In 2021, she further addressed the concern on the track ‘Nobody,’ from Nas’ King Disease II.
“My awareness like Keanu in ‘The Matrix’ / I’m saving souls and y’all complaining about my lateness,” she proclaimed.
Despite the chatter, Ms. Hill has continued to put on shows, and her fans continue to support. Will she start shows in a promptly manner on her 25th anniversary tour? Will her fans give her grace if she does not? Only time will tell. Either way, the people will be in for a nostalgic show.
“The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” is a beautiful blend of Neo-Soul and Hip-Hop. It’s vibe has been unmatched between the two genres. Although she has yet to release a second studio album, this tour could very well be the catalyst for a follow-up album and maybe even a reunion album with The Fugees.