Lauryn Hill’s Talents Can’t Be Ignored
High anticipation preceded Lauryn Hill’s contributions to Jimmy Fallon’s Bob Marley week last night. Hill, who is married to Marley’s son, Rohan (they have 5 children together) performed “Chances Are” and “Could You Be Loved” and did not disappoint. She demonstrated why, no matter how controversial she has been, her artistry and talents can not be ignored.
Though I was a fan of some of the Fugees radio hits like “Ready or Not” from their second album, The Score, it was “Doo Wop (That Thing)” from her 18-million selling first solo album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, that convinced me she was special. In 1999 Hill set a record for being the first woman to win 5 Grammy awards in one night, all for performances on Miseducation.
But, Ms. Hill, as she required her Fugee band mates to address her during a brief and troubled re-uniting in 2004-6, has said and done so many things to rankle and baffle people, that her reputation has come to overshadow her talents. Examples of Hills mis-behavior are too many to mention here, but — aside from inexcusable tardiness to performances and a refusal to compensate her fans for it — Hill has gotten most of the flack for speaking her mind. Like other creative and brilliant artists before her, she doesn’t mince words, play nice, or even appreciate the “machine” that helped her earn a reported $25 million between 1998 and 1999.
Hill was in fine form on Fallon. Though Marley’s songs have always been a part of her repertoire, these performances are fresh and engaging. Take a chance and see Hill on her “Moving Target” tour.