WE ARE: 5 women navigating our twenties in search of peace, happiness and love (or not). WE WRITE: about everything and nothing. From the insane to the mundane- you will find different paths taken, lessons learned and lives lived. WE THINK: you’ll enjoy it...Warning: Consumption of these views may leave you enlightened while intoxicated.


The View From Here will conclude on Friday, October 1, our third year anniversary. We would like to spend this month thanking all of our readers, followers, haters, visitors, family, friends, and fans for your continued support, encouragement, and comments over these past few years. Thanks y'all!
-The Five Spot

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Disappearance of Lauryn Hill

As I write this, I am watching Dave Chappelle’s Block Party. And like the rest of the masses, I have one question: what the fcuk happen to Lauryn Hill? No seriously, what the fcuk happen to Lauryn Hill? She got like five babies now! And I guess I should be calling her Ms. Hill if I don’t want to get in trouble.

So as I try to answer the riddle of our generation (I mean f who shot Biggie or Tupac? What the f happen to Lauryn Hill), I think back to the years 1998-99 when Miseducation dropped. Let me tell y’all, out of the crew, I was the only one who had a car (a 1986 Dodge 600 thank you very much) and we rocked that tape (please notice I said tape) HOARD! Forwards and backwards and then forwards again! Remember the lil’ kids in the classroom? L-O-V-E! Remember: I mean it could all be simple, but you’d rather make it hard, girls you know you better watch out some guys some guys are only about that thing, nothing even matters at all, you might win some but you just lost one, when it hurts so bad why’s it feel so good? Lauryn was singing right to us! And to every other woman in the world, I know. But at the time, she was singing just to us. And we felt all her highs and lows. Triumphs and disappointments. Could totally relate to all the “knowledge” she was dropping, making us think and ery’thang, as we began to enter womanhood. I remember us going to see her live at Constitution Hall! Man, Lauryn was on top of the world!

And then she won all ‘dem grammys. And then she just straight disappeared. And then she came out with that second all acoustic album that I have heard referred to as ‘three chord monty’, got sued by her band, had that other baby, then another and everyone was like what the fcuk happen to Lauryn Hill? Let me tell y’all what happened! Come close, I have solved the puzzle!

Lauryn Hill didn’t know a damn thang! And she knew it! She was 23 years old when Miseducation came out. A baby. I think back to when I was 23. Fresh out of college, looking at the world with bright eyes, having hope for the future, possessing what I swore was all I needed to know about men, relationships, marriage, friendships and everything in between. Man, you couldn’t tell me I didn’t have it all figured out. Ha ha ha. How wrong was I? Oh so wrong.

Do y’all think that Lauryn listened to Miseducation like two years later, shit 6 months later and asked herself, “what the hell was I talking about?” And yet she still had to go sing those songs night, after night, after night? No forward movement or progression? Her shows were very packaged. You know how Jay Z has said that by the time his album comes out and he has spit a lyric that everyone thinks is hot, he’s already moved past it? Yeah. I think that Lauryn, like all of us, grew. Grew up. And grew away from what she thought was right, wrong, black, white and shades of grey. And she wanted to put said growth on a record. And the music industry said, nope. Another Miseducation, please. And she couldn’t do it. And she didn’t do it. And then when she finally chronicled her "growth" on the second album, she was accused of having, "she think she soo deep" syndrome.

Ahhhh... Understood. I mean I swear I am providing nothing but pearls and precious jewels on this here blog, but really I'm just talking. Or writing. Once a week. But I mean the potential to get the big head is great, to feel like it's my responsibility to educate the masses and tell it like it t-i-s, and then ask what the class has learned today. It's a fine, fine line between using your life and other experiences to tell a story and hopefully touch someone's life vs. preaching your point of view from the mountaintop until your audience is blue in the face. But it's hard to walk that line. I mean when you grow you want to show it off, flaunt it, two step with it, put it into rhyme, submit it to Chicken Soup for Everybody's Soul, shimmy in someone's face with it. I done grown! And this is how!

And while no one knows what happen to Lauryn Hill, but Lauryn Hill, I think it's safe to say that ten years later, we are all in different places, some expected, some unexpected, some totally wtf? All a little older, with more perspective, knowledge, and hopefully having grown somehow, some way. But some things ain't changed. People still asking, what the fcuk happen to Lauryn Hill?

That’s my time y’all! Happy Rum Punch Friday! Enjoy the video!


mint julep said...

fantastic! you nailed it. i had never thot about lauryn's "breakdown" in that way but i think you got it. but oh how i loved the miseducation. i won my first and only beauty pageant dancing to her words.....my world it moved so fast today.....


Dirty Red said...

This is that shit!!
You hit it out the park with this one Boo.
Maybe you should post this on Mrs. Hill's fan page. Maybe she will read this and come out of that coma she has been in.

Courvoisier said...

Ah Rum Punch, I wish you were there months ago when me and my girlfriend discussed this topic. You damn right she grew up, she saw the industry for what it really was. She wanted to sing about it but they wasn’t trying to hear that…LH wasn’t fitting into the mold that was expected.

The way in that the music industry is being ran is changing…

Did you see Cadillac records? I thought the story was sad.

Rum Punch said...

@ MJ - Thanks girl! And I totally understand the love for Ms. Hill. It's just a defining coming of age moment.

@ Dirty Red - Thank you! Yes, mayhap I should post this for the masses, so we can get a movement going!

@ Courvoisier - Yeah I think she really became disillusioned. And you know the music industry will suck you dry and have you cryin for yo' mama. No, I didn't see Cadillac records, but I will definitely check it out on netflix!

Anonymous said...

I still miss Lauryn! That CD has been broken many times.

Margaret said...

Lauryn is a few months younger than I am, and I remember being amazed by miseducation when I was 23 or 24. It was like "songs in the key of life" for me at the time, and I'd play it over and over again. I was really disappointed to hear about her crazy behavior and breakdown, it's one thing to step away from the spotlight and do your own thing out of the public and decide that the industry isn't for you, but to have meltdowns at her concerts and babble so much nonsense in interviews is really heartbreaking. Maybe she'll come back in a few years.