Despite her recent shenanigans, Lauryn Hill remains one of the most important female artists of all time. From her early beginnings as a member of the multi-platinum selling group The Fugees, to solo success with “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill”, her music has inspired millions and has shaped the face of true hip-hop soul. During a recent conversation among friends I was asked a question that really got me thinking: “what are Lauryn Hill’s best songs”?
Here’s what I came up with…
This is the very first song I heard featuring Lauryn Hill. I became an instant fan after hearing her effortlessly transition from rhyming to invoking Teena Marie on the hook. Her lyrics were highly intelligent yet had a certain accessibility that enraptured people who wouldn’t normally listen to hip-hop music
My favorite line: “I’m super fly when I’m super high on that Fu-gee-la”
4. Killing Me Softly
This song was a massive hit for the Fugees for it peaked at #2 on the Billboard charts. Lauryn’s silky smooth interpretation almost made me forget that it was a cover of an r&b classic.
3. Lost Ones
Off of her solo debut “miseducation’, Lost Ones is widely perceived as a frontal attack on ex-Fugee members Wyclef and Pras. Her vitriolic flow and lyrical dexterity made this an instant hip-hop classic.
My favorite line: “It’s funny how money change a situation, miscommunication leads to complication”
2. Doo Wop (that thing)
This was the breakout single for Lauryn Hill the solo artist, as it reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 list. Doo Wop is a song calling out the trifling behavior of both men and women as it pertains to their relationships with one another. Both brutally honest and entertaining, Doo Wop continues to get heavy rotation on my iPod.
My favorite line: “How you gon’ win when you ain’t right within”?
1. To Zion
To Zion is arguably the most poignant and heartfelt song of Lauryn Hill’s career. Assisted by the haunting Spanish guitar of rock legend Carlos Santana, Lauryn pours her heart out over the decision she made to have her first child despite the prodding of those around her to abort the pregnancy in favor of her career. It is as beautiful as it is inspiring.
My favorite line: “For I know that a gift so great, is only one God could create and I’m reminded every time I see your face”.