Lauryn Hill Reveals the Shocking Reason She Never Made Another Album
"The wild thing is no one from my label has ever called me," the Grammy winner said.
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is widely considered to be one of the best albums ever. Just ask Rolling Stone—the album ranks at No. 10 on the magazine's recently revised list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. But, after Lauryn Hill released the album in 1998 and won five Grammys for it in 1999, she never made another studio album. Now, more than 20 years later, Hill has opened up about why.
For a new episode of the podcast Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums about The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Hill sent in an email in which she explained why she never made a follow-up album. Read on to learn why, and for more on when she was the biggest name in music, check out these Photos From the 1999 VMAs That'll Blow Your Mind.
Read the original article on Best Life.
Hill "was met with incredible resistance" when she wanted to make her first solo album.
Hill was already successful with the Fugees and as an actor when Miseducation came out in 1998. She acted in Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, among other roles. With the Fugees, she won the Grammy for Best Rap Album for their second album, The Score, and the Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group for their biggest hit "Killing Me Softly."
But Hill said getting a solo album made was hard. "When I decided that I wanted to try a solo project, I was met with incredible resistance and discouragement from a number of places that should have been supportive," she told the podcast.
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She said she didn't have any support to make a second album.
Even though The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill was very successful when it came out—it debuted at No. 1, had three hit singles, including the massively popular "Doo Wop (That Thing)," and won five Grammys—she says she was not asked to make a second one. "The wild thing is no one from my label has ever called me and asked how can we help you make another album. Ever. Ever," she said in her statement. "Did I say ever? Ever."
Hill went on to explain what was expected of her before the album came out versus afterward. "With The Miseducation there was no precedent," she said. "I was, for the most part, free to explore, experiment, and express. After The Miseducation, there were scores of tentacled obstructionists, politics, repressing agendas, unrealistic expectations, and saboteurs everywhere. People had included me in their own narratives of their successes as it pertained to my album, and if this contradicted my experience, I was considered an enemy." She added, "Artist suppression is definitely a thing … Where there should have been overwhelming support, there wasn't any."
Hill also explained that recording the album was stressful for her family life. She didn't know if she would want to put her family through that again, especially because she felt under-appreciated by the people she was working for. Her family included her son, Zion, who was born in 1997 and who she honored with the song "To Zion."
For more on Hill's family, check out Celebrities You Didn't Know Were Grandparents.
She wanted her music to "defy convention."
Hill explained that when making The Miseducation, she wanted to create something that hadn't been done before.
"My intention was simply to make something that made my foremothers and forefathers in music and social and political struggle know that someone received what they had sacrificed to give us, and to let my peers know that we could walk in that truth, proudly and confidently," she said. "At that time, I felt like it was a duty or responsibility to do so. I challenged the norm and introduced a new standard. I believe that Miseducation did that and I believe I still do this, defy convention when the convention is questionable."
Hill also pointed out that she addressed issues like systemic racism in her music long before that was more commonplace. "I was called crazy, now over a decade later, we hear this as part of the mainstream chorus," she said.
And for more stars who challenge discrimination, check out Celebs Who Shut Down Racist Comments on Social Media.
Her life since Miseducation has been more low-key.
While Hill never put out another studio album, she did release the live album MTV Unplugged No. 2.0, which is the recording of her 2002 MTV Unplugged special. Hill also faced legal issues in recent years, and was sentenced to three months in prison for tax evasion in 2013. She has released a couple of singles and has continued to tour, but has been known to show up very late for performances.
To read more about iconic Grammys moments, here are The 24 Most Shocking Grammy Moments of All Time.