There came a part in last year's Block Party (#5 placement on my end of 2006 top ten) where Lauryn Hill spoke to the audience inbetween numbers with her reformed Fugees members. She said something along the lines of "A lot of people have been wondering where I went." and then she points to her son, in the arms of her husband.
My mind drifted to this moment in the film (and there are lots of moments from that film that my mind wanders to from time to time) when I was walking home from work (in the freezing cold! Where is this global warming Al Gore speaks off, teehee SARCASM!!!) when "Doo Wop (That Thing)" came on Maxamillion (that'd be my iPod) and once that was over I flipped through to her album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, and listened to more. I missed her, I hadn't listened to her music in a while. I listened to "Everything is Everything", "Lost Ones", "Every Ghetto, Every City" and "Tell Him".
And, so, yes, I got to thinking of what the hell happened to Lauryn. I mean, she was going pretty darn good for herself - Miseducation is the best album of the entire 1990s if you ask me - and then she fell into that dreaded trap of family. Us actressexuals know this side effect very well, but it happens in music too. So, I presume Lauryn took time off to help raise her kid. She released an Unplugged album (which was... well, let's not go there) and did a few stray tracks as well as the off-the-cuff Fugees reunion for Block Party (and what a blissful reunion it was, right?)
It's been nearly 10 years since Lauryn blessed us with the finest album of the 1990s. Hip-Hop needs you Lauryn. The genre is in dire straits right now. It's hard to believe that Lauryn's album has zero songs "featuring" somebody else. Shocking, I know, that a hip-hop/r&b artist, many moons ago, actually managed to make an album without the help of an identikit bland monotone rapper on every track, but the genre wasn't always a trashy heap of garbage like it is now. Anyway, I want Lauryn to return. Surely her kid is old enough now for her to return to making an album. I know she's recorded a track for the new animated penguin movie (the other one) Surf's Up, but it's a song for an animated penguin movie so it's not exactly challenging stuff (listen to it here). One of Miseducation's best moments is the beautiful "To Zion", about her son, so he's at least ten. Time to get back in the studio, Lauryn!
Til then, we still have these amazing videos of Lauryn. How great are the videos for "Doo Wop" and "Everything is Everything"? I miss that. Creative videos to creative songs by creative artists. Not bland videos to boring songs by skanky 16-year-olds with too much money and too many lyrics about having "lotsa hos" or whatever. I just found at that, for some odd reason, the video for "Everything is Everything" isn't on YouTube (why?), so instead there's a live performance of sorts. Whitney Houston is at the start. She's so high.
Oh, and I love Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit. She's in that! ("Rapper slash actress/more powerful than two Cleopatras" - damn straight!)