Series: Womyn N Hip Hop and Rap Music: Part 1: Lauryn Hill

So today my friend and I were discussing womyn and & in hip hop. Nicki Minaj, Lil Kim, Lauryn Hill, Queen Latifah, MC Lyte. Just now, I was thinking about how much some people focus on the disrespect of womyn in hip hop and the lack of womyn in hip hop that we forget about the contributions that womyn have made to hip hop in the way of artistry. We need to respect not only womyn's bodies and their place in hip hop but also their connection and effect on hip hop. Therefore, with this post, I am going to start one of the many series I have coming up: Womyn in hip hop. First up to the mic: Lauryn Hill. She's my favorite female emcee, her talent, voice, beauty, and creativity were unmatched. We need you back Lauryn!!

Lauryn's appearances on the Fugees first under-the-radar album 'Blunted on Reality'(don't you just love that title?!), was stark but decidely quiet, actually only appearing on half of the album's 18 tracks. On the Fugees follow up album, The Score, Hill had a bigger hand in what would be one of the highest selling hip hop albums, 18 million copies sole. Lauryn won two grammys with the Fugees and stood out on a number of tracks with them like 'Ready or Not' with lyrics such as "I be Nina Symone and defacated on your microphone".

However, the Lauryn we all know and loved shined even more on her debut solo album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. She received 11 nominations for The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, the first hip-hop album to do so. It won 5 of the 11, making Hill the first female artist to win that many. The album was about the education one receives after leaving school; the life learning process. This really resonated with me because growing up I learned a lot of life lessons, that later on I found out weren't lessons at all, just false-truths, that I believed in at that time, until i got older. Being that life is a continous learning process, we have to re-learn lessons that we once believed with such conviction. The album changed the way womyn, especially black womyn and womyn in hop hop were viewed. She was credited with bring hip hop into the mainstream with the album's mix of R&B and reggae, not unlike the Fugees previous albums. It was a heartfelt and honest documentation of love, lost, and desperation. Miseducation did what a lot of male artists in hip hop had not done yet and a lot of them would never do. Lauryn was one of the few females emcees in the 90s that didn't join in on the warfare against black womyn. The music of Miseducation was like a spoken word session between her and some of the most talented artists ever, such as D'Angelo, Carlos Santana, and Mary J. Blige. The album was a creative portrayal of what womyn could be and who we are, what we go through and the respect we deserve. She forced us to pay attention and take note with her soft and meaningful lyrics and unassuming smile.

Doo Wop (That Thing)

(Everything is Everything)

(The Sweetest Thing)


(I Gotta Find Peace of Mind)

Love you Lauryn!

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