Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

4.8 26
by Lauryn Hill

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When 23-year-old Fugees member Lauryn Hill stepped up and recorded her ambitious, sprawling, and superb solo debut, 1998's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hil, she revived a music-business doctrine promoted by James Brown: honest hard work. Hill wrote, produced, and performed on every track on the disc (its title drawn from Carter G. Woodson's book, Mis-EducationSee more details below


When 23-year-old Fugees member Lauryn Hill stepped up and recorded her ambitious, sprawling, and superb solo debut, 1998's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hil, she revived a music-business doctrine promoted by James Brown: honest hard work. Hill wrote, produced, and performed on every track on the disc (its title drawn from Carter G. Woodson's book, Mis-Education of the Negro), emulating the "musical journey" production style of a couple of other inspiring masters, Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye. Hill's theme is love -- of self, of family, of community, and of significant other, with many of the songs introduced by a grade-school classroom discussion on the subject. While Hill's rhymes sometimes reach for the highbrow, she also dispenses the folk wisdom of "How you gon' win/When you ain't right within." Singing in a dark, low alto, Hill reveals well-rounded influences and tastes, seeing herself as a vulnerable vocal hybrid of Chaka Khan and Betty Wright on the steamy "Ex-Factor" and soaring above Carlos Santana's resolute guitar on the gorgeous lullaby to her son, "To Zion." Ranging from edgy, insistent hip-hop to horn-enhanced, '70s-flavored soul, Hill is a purist, but -- as on "Every Ghetto," a funky, Wonder-ful tribute to the New Jersey neighborhood she grew up in -- the whole album exudes a timely energy. Her five Grammy wins for this album reveal the scope of her appeal, but this is Hill's personal triumph and celebration.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
{The Fugees'} {Lauryn Hill} turns her debut solo album into a life-affirming evocation of love and all the ups and downs that go with it. Mixing in a little bit of pop and straight R&B with the dominating hip-hop, =Miseducation= plays like one long narrative on the joy of spiritual and physical devotion. While its sprawling theme and length are comparable to {Fugee} bandmate {Wyclef Jean's} debut from the previous year, =The Carnival,= its borders are a bit more confining (a lot of this has to do with the grade-school lessons on the history of love that bridge the songs; {Hill} rarely moves beyond its scholarly walls or her own musical ones). And, quite simply, {Hill} is a better rapper than singer, and she does a little too much crooning on =Miseducation= to qualify it as the hip-hop classic it wants to be. Still, when she gets into a groove, like on the playful "Doo Wop (That Thing)," {Hill's} education doesn't seem all that misguided. ~ Michael Gallucci, All-Music Guide
All Music Guide - John Bush
Though the Fugees had been wildly successful, and Lauryn Hill had been widely recognized as a key to their popularity, few were prepared for her stunning debut. The social heart of the group and its most talented performer, she tailored The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill not as a crossover record but as a collection of overtly personal and political statements; nevertheless, it rocketed to the top of the album charts and made her a superstar. Also, and most importantly, it introduced to the wider pop world an astonishingly broad talent. Hill's verses were intelligent and hardcore, with the talent to rank up there with Method Man. And for the choruses she could move from tough to smooth in a flash, with a vocal prowess that allowed her to be her own chanteuse (à la Mariah Carey). Hill, of Haitian heritage, rhymed in a tough Caribbean patois on the opener, "Lost Ones," wasting little time to excoriate her former bandmates and/or record-label executives for caving in to commercial success. She used a feature for Carlos Santana ("To Zion") to explain how her child comes before her career and found a hit single with "Doo Wop (That Thing)," an intelligent dissection of the sex game that saw it from both angles. "Superstar" took to task musicians with more emphasis on the bottom line than making great music (perhaps another Fugees nod), while her collaborations with a pair of sympathetic R&B superstars (D'Angelo and Mary J. Blige) also paid major dividends. And if her performing talents, vocal range, and songwriting smarts weren't enough, Hill also produced much of the record, ranging from stun-gun hip-hop to smoother R&B with little trouble. Though it certainly didn't sound like a crossover record, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill affected so many widely varying audiences that it's no surprise the record became a commercial hit as well as a musical epoch-maker.

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Lauryn Hill   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals
Anderson   Guitar
Earl Robinson   Background Vocals
Sabrina Johnston   Background Vocals
Don-E   Piano,Hammond Organ,fender rhodes,Wurlitzer
Lori Holland   Organ,Clarinet,Hammond Organ,Electric Piano,fender rhodes,Wurlitzer
Tom Barney   Bass
Bud Beadle   Flute,Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Mary J. Blige   Vocals
Kenny O. Bobien   Background Vocals
Rudy Byrd   Percussion
D'Angelo   Vocals,fender rhodes
Francis Dunnery   Guitar
Paul Fakhourie   Bass
Dean Fraser   Tenor Saxophone
Christopher Meredith   Bass
James Poyser   Organ,Celeste,Harpsichord,Electric Piano,fender rhodes,Synthesizer Bass,Wurlitzer,Moog Bass
Kevin Robinson   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Nambo Robinson   Trombone
Earl "Chinna" Smith   Guitar,Background Vocals
Andrew Smith   Guitar
Eddie Stockley   Background Vocals
Fayyaz Virji   Trombone
Elisabeth Valletti   Harp
Julian Marley   Guitar
Carlos Santana   Guitar
Chuck Young   Background Vocals
Robert Browne   Guitar
Grace Paradise   Harp
DJ Supreme   DJ
Johari Newton   Guitar
Tejumold Newton   Piano
Tara Wilkons   Background Vocals
Racheal Wilson   Background Vocals
Jennifer McNeil   Background Vocals
Stewart Zender   Bass
Lenesha Randolph   Background Vocals
Rasheem "Kio" Pugh   Background Vocals
Fundisha Johnson   Background Vocals
Indigo Quartet   Strings
Squiddly Ranks   Drums
Everol Ray   Trumpet
Andrea Simmons   Background Vocals
Matthew Rubano   Bass
Jared "Chocolate" Crawford   Drums
Ahmed Wallace   Background Vocals
John Stephens   Piano

Technical Credits

Shelly Thunder   Contributor
Tony Prendatt   Engineer
Warren Riker   Engineer
L.A. Hill   Composer
Matt Howe   Engineer
John Wydrycs   Engineer
Ramon Rivera   Contributor
Erwin Gorostiza   Art Direction
Wyclef Jean   Composer
Commissioner Gordon   Engineer
Lauryn Hill   Arranger,Producer,Executive Producer,Art Direction
Chris Theis   Engineer
Ken Johnston   Engineer
Vada Nobles   Producer,drum programming
Che Pope   Programming
Storm Jefferson   Engineer
Johnny Wyndrx   Engineer
Johnny Wydrycz   Engineer
Che Guevara   Producer,drum programming

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