Lauryn Hill: ‘I Defy Convention When the Convention is Questionable’

by Shine My Crown Staff

Lauryn Hill may be one of the most elusive musicians of our time — but her works have been deeply impactful, and she has influenced some of the biggest superstars the entertainment world has to offer.

During a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Ms. Hill opened up about her music industry journey. Despite a career spanning decades, Hill has only ever released one solo album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill — and it’s unlikely we will ever receive another.

“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,” Hill explained.

“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. At that time, I felt like it was a duty or responsibility to do so. I saw the economic and educational gaps in black communities and although I was super young myself, I used that platform to help bridge those gaps and introduce concepts and information that “we” needed even if “we” didn’t know “we” wanted it yet. Of course I’m referring to the proverbial “we.” These things had an enormous value to me and I cherished them from a very young age.”

She continued: “I also think the album stood apart from the types and cliches that were supposed to be acceptable at that time. 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. I had to move faster and with greater intention though than the dysfunctional norms that were well-established and fully funded then.”

Hill shared that creating the album took a lot out of her both emotionally, as well as time and attention from her family. She admits that she is still working to replenish the areas in her life, which suffered a void for her art.

The “Sweetest Thing,” singer revealed that her label also never asked her to record another album, but also says that she is not considering recording another full-length project. “Artist suppression is definitely a thing. I won’t go too much into it here, but where there should have been overwhelming support, there wasn’t any,” she explains.

After all is said and done, Hill, who has been vilified in the mainstream media in the past, has been vindicated on many levels.

“The lack of respect and willingness to understand what that is, or what I need to be productive and healthy, doesn’t really sit well with me. When no one takes the time to understand, but only takes the time to count the money the fruit of this process produces, things can easily turn bad. Mistreatment, abuse, and neglect happen,” she added. “I wrote an album about systemic racism and how it represses and stunts growth and harms (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.”

Click here to read the full interview.

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