Lauryn Hill says the powers that be didn’t want her to release another album.
It’s no secret that many fans believed that Lauryn Hill would go on to be one of the most successful artistes after her debut album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. That type of career never materialized for her, and she soon disappeared from the limelight even with such a promising career in the making. She’s purposefully stayed away from the public eye, but she recently gave a glimpse into what happened and why her career didn’t go in the direction that many anticipated.
Lauryn Hill shared her thoughts via email with Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Albums” podcast on Amazon Music. For one thing, the former Fugees singer revealed that there was never any indication that her multi-platinum album solo effort would ever have a follow-up.
“The wild thing is no one from my label has ever called me and asked how can we help you make another album, EVER…EVER. Did I say ever? Ever! … With the Miseducation, there was no precedent. I was, for the most part, free to explore, experiment and express.”
What Happened To Lauryn Hill After The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill?
Lauryn Hill then explained that following the success of the album, things turned sour, and this dissuaded her from trying to follow up her album.
“After the Miseducation, there were scores of tentacled obstructionists, politics, repressing agendas, unrealistic expectations and saboteurs EVERYWHERE. People had included me in their own narratives of THEIR successes as it pertained to my album, and if this contradicted my experience, I was considered an enemy.”
Lauryn Hill’s 1998 classic album earned her an impressive five Grammy Awards, an accolade that made her the only female artist to have ever taken home so many Grammy’s in a night. That album remains one of the most studied due to its phenomenal success.
“I’ve always been pretty critical of myself artistically, so of course there are things I hear that could have been done differently but the LOVE in the album, the passion, its intention is to me, undeniable.” She added, “I think my intention was simply to make something that made my foremothers and forefathers in music and social and political struggle know that someone received what they’d sacrificed to give us, and to let my peers know that we could walk in that truth, proudly and confidently.”
Lauryn Hill On Why She Recorded The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.
Part of her inspiration for the album came from wanting to challenge the way people thought about music. “I challenged the norm and introduced a new standard. I believe the Miseducation did that and I believe I still do this — defy convention when the convention is questionable.”
In addition to this, she said she also created music to fight against racism.
“All of my albums have probably addressed systemic racism to some degree, before this was something this generation openly talked about. I was called crazy. Now…over a decade later, we hear this as part of the mainstream chorus,” she added.
Lauryn Hill also said that sometimes she feels that even though she was a pioneer in battling for equal rights, her role has been largely forgotten.
“OK, so chalk some of it up to leadership and how that works — I was clearly ahead, but you also have to acknowledge the blatant denial that went down with that. The public abuse and ostracizing while suppressing and copying what I had done, (I protested) with still no real acknowledgment that all of that even happened, is a lot,” she said.