On The 20th Anniversary Of The Miseducation Lauryn Hill Is Jeopardizing Its Legacy
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Lauryn Hill’s legendary album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Books have been published, events have been planned and think pieces have been written defending the magnitude of this work from a Black woman from New Jersey.
I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t seminal in my growth and development as a woman. The Miseducation is full of lessons on love, life and a woman’s autonomy. It was and still is important and necessary.
But after its release, there was quite a bit of controversy surrounding the project. There were accusations from the musicians that Hill didn’t credit them properly. Wyclef came forward with claims that he had been duped about her son’s paternity. (Which, given his own philandering, is not something I pity him for.) And then, whenever fans heard Hill perform songs from this beloved album, they were morphed and transformed into something unrecognizable—sometimes for better and sometimes for worse. There were late performances, many late performances, a letter about aligning her energy. And most recently, a scathing interview from another Grammy-winning musician Robert Glasper.
Hill addressed most of this, particularly Glasper, in an open letter she published earlier this year.
And while we may never know the truth about the composition of The Miseducation—nor do I care to—outside of the artists getting their credit—what is most troubling about all of it is that while fans worldwide are clinging on to the feelings the album first produced, Hill seems to be hellbent on tarnishing the legacy and greatness of her work.
This time, according to That Grape Juice, Hill showed up two and a half hours late for the French leg of her MisEducation 20th Anniversary Tour. Musicians are notorious for being late and that’s certainly been Hill’s pattern for the past several years. I’m sure there were more than a few fans who expected and even prepared to wait. And given Hill’s track record, two and a half hours is not that bad.
But what added insult to injury was the fact that after the waiting, European fans received a 32-minute show before the concert ended.
Fans reported a similar scenario in Brussels, where she was an hour and 40 minutes late and performed for 40 minutes.
In response to her fans’ outrage, Hill issued this response.
At this point, it’s same script, same cast. People are tired of hearing the apologies when there’s no indication that her behavior will change.
What’s most troubling about all of this is that at a time when fans globally are seeking to celebrate and uplift Hill and her accomplishment, she’s working overtime to jeopardize it.