Lauryn Hill, born on May 26th, 1975 in South Orange, New Jersey, was crowned Hip-Hop's ruling matriarch by Time magazine due to her being extremely successful at the 41st grammy's in 1999. Her illustrious career was jumpstarted in high school when she teamed up with rappers/producers Pras Micheal, and his cousin, Wyclef Jean. They named their group "The Fugees" and released their debut album "Blunted on Reality" in 1994. Their best work came in 1996 when they released their grammy winning and six time platinum selling album "The Score" which gifted us the smash hits "Ready or Not" & "Killing Me Softly" with Hill shining vocally on both respectively.
Hill brokethrough as a legendary hip-hop artist with the release of her solo album "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" which was all written or co-written by Lauryn Hill herself. Besides the critically acclaimed 8 times platinum selling accolade she achieved for this album and the 5 grammy's she won for this work (along with the 11 grammy nominations). The transcendent achievement she was able to achieve was stepping outside of rap's misogynistic traditions by illustrating her self-awareness through conscientious themes throughout the album.
Although her first solo album thrusted her into superstardom, it also eventually lead to her downfall as the pressure reportedly became too much for her to try to live her life as she used to, before becoming a superstar. The stress divided the acclaim she received from her last full length (live) album "MTV Unplugged 2.0" in 2002. The album was received as another great album on one side and as a "public breakdown" on the other. In 2013, she was sentenced to prison for three months for tax evasion charges.
Regardless of anyone's opinion, Lauryn Hill is easily one of the most important and talented Hip-Hop artists that has ever lived. She shifted the culture in a positive direction for women and humans alike, while also paving the way for many female artists after her to step into a previously male-dominated musical arena.
Peep her classic songs below and check out some rare but truly enlightening footage that gives everyone insight to the wise and brilliant mind of Ms. Lauryn Hill.