I’ve been a fan of Lauryn Hill’s since the singer/rapper hit the stage with the Fugees in the mid 1990s.
Of course the Score got (and still gets) mad play in my household but I also was a fan of the less commercially successful Blunted.
But it wasn’t until Ms. Hill dropped her solo debut in 1998 (The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill) that who she was for me as a singer, personally, began to change.
Now anyone who knows me (I mean for real, not just at work or on twitter or facebook), knows that I love Billie Holiday.
Lady Day (as Billie was affectionately nicknamed) was a singer who rose to fame in the 1950s and though her voice is not the most perfect or possessing the greatest range, for me she is the greatest.
The way in which Billie Holiday sang is as if she were in direct conversation with your soul. As if God Himself gave her access to the intricacies of the human spirit via her voice.
And the first time I heard her sing Strange Fruit I broke down in tears.
Which brings us back to Lauryn Hill and the first time I heard her sing Ex-Factor. It was this song which moved her from a good singer to a modern day Billie Holiday.
Lauryn doesn’t have the best voice or range ala Billie, but it is what she does with her instrument and the depth of feeling behind her lyrics which pushes her into the realm of great.
Now after a hiatus of 12 years, a new track by Lauryn Hill has surfaced and has music lovers buzzing with delight. The song entitled Repercussion is a smooth, soulful ballad.
And though I expect that a finished album will be more polished,
I personally am just happy that she is back.
Listen for yourself and let me know if Lauryn Hill is your modern day Billie Holiday.
For more information on these artists, you can visit their official websites:
Lauryn Hill: http://www.lauryn-hill.com/
Billie Holiday: http://www.cmgww.com/music/holiday/