I adore this song. One of the few songs that really strikes an emotional chord with me. If Lauryn never makes another album again, I would be completely fine with it and satisfied with what I got. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is a an album of legendary proportions. She was(and still is if you ask me, listen to “How Many Mics?”) one of the fiercest female emcees to ever hold the mic. Someone who came from a successful hip hop group which sold millions world wide. She goes solo and releases a critically and commercially acclaimed debut album that won 5 Grammys. An album that was far from concocted for mass consumption. An album that was just as much hip hop as it was soul and R&B. An album which was at the time, the best encapsulation of every aspect of black music. To think this album has sold 20 million copies since it’s release is still so mind blowing to me. I remember a year after it came out I actually put it on my list of best hip hop albums of all time(it’s a prestigious list btw). It has since been dropped from it but that’s more due to other albums pushing it off than it declining in quality. I still find it just as genius as I ever did.
A black female who came from a hip hop group, who sung better than anyone and arguably rapped better than your favorite emcee, won 5 Grammys(nominated for 11), is married to and has 5 children with Rohan Marely, one of Bob Marely’s sons. I mean this is stuff of fucking legend here. Never will this story be repeated. Did she immediately follow up to bank on her success? Nope. She has yet to record a true follow up. Since then she has literally been under the radar, staying reclusive and raising her kids.
I’ve never heard a better song about breakup and the heartache that goes along with it. What puts this song over the top, for me at least, is the “Can It Be All So Simple?” sample by The Wu Tang Clan. She even starts the song with the line “it could all be so simple”, which I like to think is a definite nod of respect to the Staten Island collective.
“See I know what we’ve got to do. You let go…and I’ll let go too. Cause no one’s hurt me more than you, and no one ever will…”