Lauryn Hill is considered to be nothing short of a musical genius. The singer-songwriter enjoyed a lot of success as one part of the ‘90s hip-hop group, the Fugees. However, she was able to cement her place as a music legend with her solo project, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.” At the age of 23, the “Ex-Factor” singer was able to write and produce just about every song on the album on her own. More importantly, she showed other artists how to pour their hearts out through a song.
On top of being the first hip-hop LP to win Album of The Year, this iconic project — which was released in August 1998 — also helped the rapper/singer collect the highest number of awards (5) at the Grammys on the night. The project also set the record for the highest first-week sales by a female musician back then. Even though she did not release another solo album, this exceptional project was enough to immortalize Lauryn Hill in the world of R&B and hip-hop.
Through her soulful voice and thought-provoking lyrics, Hill has been able to inspire numerous artists over the years — influencing the music industry to date. Read on for a breakdown of the “Doo Woop” hit-maker’s influence in today’s music scene.
According to an article in the New York Post, both Hill and SZA went to the same high school in New Jersey. This meant that as an aspiring musician, the “Kill Bill” singer felt even closer to the “Nothing Even Matters” star. Furthermore, both singers released albums journaling their experiences as Black women in their twenties – while “Miseducation” dropped when Lauryn was 23, SZA released “Ctrl” when she was 26.
The “Single Ladies” singer has also talked about how her music is inspired by Lauryn Hill. Bey stated, “There’s definitely something beyond Lauryn Hill that’s in her voice and her mind,” while speaking to EW. Beyoncé also added that in her opinion, Hill was gifted and blessed.
To demonstrate Lauryn’s influence, Queen Bey covered “Ex-Factor” in her 2014 “On The Run” Tour. Furthermore, comparisons have been made between “Lemonade” and the iconic “Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” album.
The outspoken rapper has cited Hill as one of his main inspirations. In addition to sampling some of her tracks, West even went as far as to bring up the “Killing Me Softly With His Song” hit-maker in one of his songs – “Champion.” In the song, Kanye raps “Lauryn Hill said her heart was in Zion/I wish her heart still was in rhyming/Cause who the kids gonna listen to? Huh? – Champion.”
The “Money Trees” rapper was thrust into celebrity status by his 2012 project, “good kid, m.A.A.d City.” However, the rapper found himself struggling to get to grips with the newfound fame. At that moment, he decided to reach out to the “Doo Woop” singer and seek her advice on how to best manage his new status.
In an interview with XXL, Kendrick talked about how he spoke with Hill. According to the “Swimming Pools” rapper, Lauryn advised him to, “Try to completely throw away your ego.