There’s only a couple albums in this culture that can be played any where amongst a crowd of people no matter the race, gender, or ethnic background, and they’ll know hands down what it is. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill falls into that category. You don’t have to be into Hip-Hop and R&B to know and love this album, it’s THAT good.
20 years ago to the day, August 25th, 1998. Ms. Lauryn Hill gave us not just the best R&B album ever, but arguably one of the best body’s of work we’ve ever seen. From the vocals, to the lyrical content, to the overall theme of the album, it was all amazing. Coming from the Fugees background, she was able to infuse a lot of different sounds and instrumentation on the album to go along with the ability to both sing and rap equally as well.
The album is a play off the autobiography The Education of Sonny Carson. So if you’ve ever read that novel (which you probably haven’t if you’re under 30) then you know what this album consists of. A very introspective body of work touching upon her first born son as well as her fallout with her group The Fugees.
The Miseducation debuted on billboard as the number 1 album in the country. The first week totals were upwards of 420,000 albums sold which was a record at the time for most first week sales by a female artist. A big part of that success was her song “Doo Wop (That Thing)” which peaked at number 1 in the U.S. Her next two singles “Ex-Factor” and “Everything’s Everything” also peaked top 40.
20 years later, the album is still as good as it was 20 years prior. I know myself as well as a lot of other people are torn because this is her only solo body of work, but that leaves a certain mystique about her. A mystique that she carries around to this day.