Manchester, you better – watch out. Ms. Lauryn Hill is only a-bout.
Marking the 20th anniversary of the release of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Ms. Lauryn Hill has seen fit to tour the album cover to cover; a masterpiece that should never be out of rotation. As close to flawless as an album can be, it featured timeless tunes such as ‘Doo Wop (That Thing)’, ‘Every Ghetto, Every City’ and ‘Nothing Even Matters’, every single one of which will be performed.
However, she will not be performing alone. Testament to her influence, she has been joined by an unbelievable roster of support on the North American leg of her world tour. Big Boi, De La Soul, M.I.A., Nas, Shabazz Palaces, A$AP Rocky, Jo Mersa Marley, Busta Rhymes, Santigold, Tierra Whack, Bambaata Marley, Dave East, Protoje, Kelela, Iman Omari and comedian Dave Chappelle have joined her so far. At the time of writing, it remains to be seen who from this Grammy adorned list will be supporting her at the Manchester show, but expect greatness. You may notice a couple of conspicuous absentees from that list in Wyclef Jean and Pras Michel, her former Fugees band mates. Whilst they won’t be present, she will be playing some Fugees classics, which I am loathe to reveal here.
Following her years as their frontwoman and their clandestine 1997 break up, no one could have expected Hill to release such a masterwork on a par with The Score. Yet, that’s exactly what she did. Continuing the precedent set by her work in Fugees, her one and only solo studio album was named after the Dr. Carter G. Woodson 1933 novel, The Mis-Education of the Negro. The book challenged the education of young black people in the US and this sets the tone for much of Hill’s work.
Always a dedicated activist, most recently for Black Lives Matter and the Palestinian rights movement, it’s impossible to talk about Ms. Lauryn Hill without talking about her politics. Sadly, the issues she raps and sings about are as relevant today as they were 20 years ago. Women’s rights, refugee rights and black rights are at the heart of her work. She sings of change coming eventually in ‘Everything is Everything’ yet we’re still a long way off from the world she wishes and continues to fight for. In fact, she’s choosing to donate a portion of the cost of every ticket to the MLH Foundation who help fund education, health, agriculture, technology, and community-based businesses and development initiatives all over the world.
It’s incredible to think that someone with only 3 studio albums (2 with Fugees, and one solo) has such an influential legacy. An unmissable celebration.