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The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Lauryn Hill's debut solo album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, rose to No. 1 on Billboard's album chart and earned five Grammy Awards. This is mainly an R&B album that borrows creatively from reggae and hip-hop sounds, with Hill's soulful voice front and center. Lyrics deal with themes of trust and betrayal, love, and parenthood. Hill makes very few explicit references to sex, but in "Doo Wop (That Thing)," she lays blame at the feet of both sexes for relationships in which women subjugate themselves to unreliable males; here she mentions "the one you let hit it and never called you again" and says "gave him a little trim." The album also includes one reference to alcohol (gin) and one to cocaine, one mention of a gun, and one curse word: "ass." Also note that the song "To Zion," a love song about Hill's first child, refers to her choice to keep her baby despite others' advice to "think of your career."
What's the story?
THE MISEDUCATION OF LAURYN HILL is the smash debut solo album by former Fugees member Lauryn Hill. It was recorded largely in Tuff Gong Studios, Jamaica, and incorporates elements of R&B, reggae, soul, and hip-hop. Hill wrote most of the lyrics for the album after she left the Fugees, and while she was pregnant with her first child, and many of the songs deal with themes of trust and betrayal, fame, love, and parenthood. The album was a massive hit, rising to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart, and winning five Grammys. With 10 nominations and five wins, Hill was the first female artist to receive that many Grammy nominations and awards at one ceremony.
Is it any good?
Lauryn Hill's debut album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, fused R&B with reggae, soul, and hip-hop in a fresh way that broke through to mainstream audiences in a huge way. Unique for its time, the album still sounds fresh today. Hill's soulful, intimate vocal style set a standard for later R&B stars like Alicia Keys, and her lyrics, though personally revealing, carry a lot of universal appeal and depth. This is a cool, urban record that hits the listener in a very emotional place.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about relationships in the song "Doo Wop (That Thing)." What is Lauryn Hill saying to women, and to men, about how they should treat each another?
In the song "Superstar," Lauryn Hill seems to equate famous artists with Jesus. Do you agree that famous people are persecuted?
In "Forgive Them Father," what are the sins that the singer feels should be forgiven?
Themes & Topics
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For kids who love hip-hop and '90s music
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