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Music / Lauryn Hill

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Lauryn Noelle Hill (born May 26, 1975 in Newark, New Jersey) is an American singer-songwriter, rapper, record producer, and actress. She is regarded as one of the greatest and most influential musicians of her generation on several fronts — redefining/reviving hip-hop through breaking barriers for female rappers and popularizing melodic rap, and helping Neo Soul hit the mainstream.

Hill rose to fame after several bit roles on As the World Turns and Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, and through her membership in The Fugees. After two albums, the group disbanded, and Lauryn launched a solo career with her critically and commercially acclaimed solo album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998). The recording earned Hill five Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year and Best New Artist.

Unfortunately, success came with a price as Hill ultimately withdrew from the public sphere, opting instead to become a full-time live musician (both solo and the occasional live performance with the Fugees), with her sole follow-up to her solo debut album being a double-album of acoustic songs released under the MTV Unplugged brand.



  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: In "Doo Wop (That Thing)", she rallies against this trope, telling young women not to go with men they know will treat them badly as "respect is just a minimum." Interestingly, it also warns guys not to go with women that are only about "that thing."
  • Celebrity Is Overrated: She walked away from the immense fame she had after her debut album, in part because of displeasure with the music industry, and her feelings that she could not be herself.
  • Epic Rocking: On her debut there's only one song breaking 6 minutes, "To Zion". Yet the MTV Unplugged performance has eight of those, one breaking 12 minutes (the lengths are not helped by uncut rambling before the songs).
  • One-Woman Song: Not by Hill herself, but Talib Kweli released a song about her called "Ms. Hill."
  • Showmance: She and Wyclef Jean briefly dated when they were in the Fugees.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: The Fugees consisted of her, Wyclef Jean, and Pras Michael.
  • Urban Legends: It was widely rumored for a while that Wyclef Jean actually wrote all of the material on her solo album, when it was first released. In truth, it was split between Hill and a group of producers called "New Ark," the later of whom had to sue Hill over not being credited for their work on the album.