Friday, August 12, 2011

Lauryn Hill, Em, Throne, and other Candidates for Hip Hop President

On July 23, Lauryn Hill had a baby, her sixth. A week later she performed at L.A. Rising Festival. All in a week’s work, y’know. Word to Zion.

Now I’ve been wrong (and hurt) before, so please correct me if this comes off sounding a little Miseducated, but I can’t help wonder if either on a symbolic level (she now has more children than Grammy’s), or just a fiscal level (so many kids to feed), this bodes well for Lauryn making a full-on return to the landscape as an artist, a performer. We all have the same wish, don’t we? The same flashback? It was an August much like this one when we first heard the 1-4-1-1-1-2-1-1 finger-snaps on “Nothing Even Matters,” announcing the undeniable truth: Lauryn Hill was president — nay, EMPRESS — of these here United States. The skies could fall! Your boss could call! But L spitting hot fire, singing lullabies could make the world seem so very small (snap-snap).

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill felt like a genuine Presidential moment, a space where we find not only music and escapism, but bars that explode with inspiration. Lauryn delivered something akin to leadership. Her fireside chats were nostalgic and sentimental: “Today we’re gonna talk about love.” Giggles from the class, but they still listened to the reassuring voice of the best teacher ever. It was a stream of music that was impossible to rally against...

(continued on Grantland)

Assessing the Candidates for Hip Hop President [Grantland]

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