On May 26th of this year, we celebrated the 40th birthday of divine hip-hop emcee Lauryn Hill.
It’s hard to believe her debut solo album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill was released almost 17 years ago. As I reflect on how effortlessly my mother would replay that same CD over and over again, every car ride during my childhood, I find I can attribute much of my identity to Lauryn.
It feels unnatural as a writer to call her Lauryn, considering my regard for her as a mother figure. Not only do I feel like Lauryn Hill helped raise me but she helped raise a large percentage of the young adult, African-American population of today.
I find that I often get upset with my inability to genuinely like the female hip-hop artists I hear today. I just can't get into female artists as easily as the males. I'll admit, there are some guys that make me question the existence of hip-hop entirely, but there's usually a general consensus that they suck as artists.
With female artists, I have extreme difficulty getting into the ones the hip-hop masses typically enjoy. Have you ever listened to a song and questioned how much strength you would have to exert to snap your neck? Yeah, that happened to me as I listened to the chorus of Lil Mama's Sausage.
Lil Mama isn't an accurate representation of female hip-hop artists but she certainly didn't help change my opinion on the matter. I'll admit, Nicki drops fire verses and I know almost 95% of the lyrics from the Flawless remix, but I can't see myself making it through an entire Nicki album.
I think that we have difficulty discussing the responsibility of the female artist and how a large amount haven't lived up to that responsibility because we don't want to seem like we're downing the female population, but we do it far too often to the male hip-hop artists to exclude the females.
Who knows? Maybe this is worth discussing or maybe this is the reveal of some deep, dark hate and lack of appreciation of women that exists within me, but I'm like almost certain it's the first.
Sleepless in June..