So why is Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill on this best 1,000 albums ever thing?
I was (and remain) a huge fan of the Fugees, so back in the late ‘90s it was exciting to see members of that highly unique hip hop collective go on to tackle solo projects. As it turns out, the greatest of those works were the debut albums from Wyclef Jean (The Carnival – be on the lookout for this one on the best 1k albums proj) and The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.
The confidence and range of its songs is as impressive as its quality – and, indeed, you’ll note below that Rolling Stone named The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill as #10 on its greatest 500 albums list.
It’s the soul- and R&B-inflected hip hop that turns me on the most, and that starts with “Doo Wop (That Thing),” which is an absolute smasher (it’s credited to “Ms. Lauryn Hill,” by the way, as is every track on the album). Hill deploys one of her “unfair advantages” here, seamlessly pivoting between rapping and gorgeous vocals. I also must note that I’m always a sucker for hip hop tracks that effectively use the piano as percussion. Also: nice use of strings!
The video for “Doo Wop (That Thing)” is almost entirely shot as a split screen: on the left is a late 1960s period piece, and the right a “modern” late ‘90s take. Beyond the great costumes and scenes of life and partying in the city over two eras in New York City, it does a great job of tying the song to its doo wop ‘60s roots.
“Everything Is Everything” leverages a hip hop beat and great production that includes a lush string arrangement. This time, though, it leads with Hill’s singing before layering in a hip hop verse.
I’m not ordinarily a natural fan of these kinds of R&B songs, but the vocals are so gorgeous on “I Used to Love Him” – with the featured Mary J. Blige and Lauryn Hill’s vocals meshing perfectly – that I was completely won over.
Some stats & info about The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Hip Hop, R&B, Alternative Rap, Neo-Soul
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – #10
- All Music’s rating – 5 out of 5 stars
- When was The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill released? 1998
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #576 out of 1,000
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill on Spotify
A lyrical snippet from The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill that’s evocative of the album in some way, maybe
Guys you know you better watch out – some girls are only about that thing, that thing, that thing.
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.