Now Reading: 5 Facts About Lauryn Hill’s Iconic ‘Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’ Album


5 Facts About Lauryn Hill’s Iconic ‘Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’ Album

As a member of revered hip-hop group The Fugees throughout the ‘90s, Lauryn Hill’s debut project, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, was highly anticipated when it dropped on August 25, 1998. Both commercially and critically acclaimed, the landmark album earned 5 Grammys and became the first rap album to earn the coveted Album of the Year trophy. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill continues to resonate with audiences and contemporary artists worldwide, influencing artists like Drake, Cardi B, and Baby Keem. 

  1. The skits on the album about love were authentic, and the narrator, Ras Baraka, is now the current mayor of Newark, New Jersey. At the time, he was an eighth grade teacher when Lauryn called and invited him to her house in South Orange. “She had chairs set up in the living room and a bunch of kids were there. She told me she wanted to discuss the concept of love. There was a blackboard and I wrote the letters ‘L-O-V-E’ and we just went into the whole discussion,” he told Rolling Stone in 2008.

  2. Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” was never meant to be a commercial single. It was originally recorded for the soundtrack to the film Conspiracy Theory starring Mel Gibson and Julia Roberts. It ended up on the radio, became popular, and that’s how it ended became a bonus track,” sound engineer Commissioner Gordon explained to Rolling Stone.

  3. A then-unknown John Legend played the piano on “Everything Is Everything” while he was still in college. During his junior year at the University of Pennsylvania, Legend gave a friend a ride to Hill’s house in New Jersey and sang and played her a few songs, including Stevie Wonder’s “Love’s in Need of Love Today.”

    “Lauryn said, ‘Why don’t you play on this record we’re working on right now? And it was ‘Everything is Everything,’” Legend told Yahoo! Entertainment.

    After the song became a top 40 hit, Legend described the reaction he received when he returned to campus. “I went back to college, and I was the man after that,” he shared. “It was my little claim to fame at Penn for my whole senior year.”
  1. Lauryn cried the first time she heard the “To Zion” instrumental. Producer Che Vicious recounted the moment to Rolling Stone, “I’d gotten into a bunch of Spanish records. I lived in a brownstone in Brooklyn and there was this little studio apartment on the top floor that didn’t have air conditioning. I could only go in there for 20 minutes at a time to make tracks because it was too hot. And one of those 20 minutes is when I made “Zion.” I came in with the track and Lauryn teared up and said, ‘I have this idea to do a song about my baby and I didn’t know what the music should sound like until I heard that track.’”

  2. Lauryn got tired of people popping in and out of the studio, so she flew out to Jamaica, where she recorded the majority of the album. She established her workspace at Bob Marley’s former residence (now transformed into a museum) on 56 Hope Road. Lauryn referenced the famed location on “Lost Ones” with the lyrics, “I was hopeless, now I’m on Hope Road.”

    “We recorded in New York, Miami, and at Hope Road in Jamaica,” sound engineer Gordon “Commissioner Gordon” Williams told Okayplayer in 2021. “To be in Bob Marley’s house created a landscape for magic. Stephen Marley was the one who invited us to come in. I had to organize the equipment that had to be brought to Jamaica, and we had to make sure it could work as a museum when we weren’t recording.”

Top Articles

  • Afrika Bambaataa


  • Jean-Michel Basquiat


  • Campbellock (Don Campbell)