Flashback Artist of the Month for August 2022
Lauryn Hill was born and raised in South Orange, New Jersey, where she was instantly propelled into music and all that it had to offer. In high school, Hill and fellow classmate Prakazrel (“Pras”) Michel performed together under the name Tranzlator Crew. As a teen, Hill also acted in the popular soap opera As the World Turns and alongside Whoopi Goldberg in the film Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit.
She used the money she earned from acting jobs to help finance her group, which was eventually renamed the Fugees in 1993. The group eventually signed to a division of Columbia Records. However, their debut album, Blunted on Reality (1994), received terrible reviews. It wasn’t until the release of their second album, The Score (1996), which featured a remake of the Roberta Flack 1973 hit “Killing Me Softly with His Song,” that they received impressive remarks. Still, many fans and critics believed that Hill overshadowed her band members and thought that she would be better off solo.
In 1996, Hill released her first debut solo album titled The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, in which she sang about touchy subjects involving her life and her upbringing. The album is still her most popular album to date.
Hill’s sound is a mixture of “neo-soul” and hip hop, while her lyrics are known to be very personal to her experience as both a creative and a black woman in today’s society.