Monday, July 30, 2007

Cocaine (Or Whatever Lauryn's On) Is a Helluva Drug

I, like most 30-something males, had a monster grown-up crush on the Fugee's Lauryn Hill waaaaay back in the day (circa the "Nappy Headz [Mona Lisa] era). She combined the best of what semi-BoHo mid-90's black women were all about: sophistication, wit, intelligence, depth, and stunning beauty. I had a college friend who went to high school with her in East Orange, New Jeruz, and spoke volumes about how down to Earth she was, even while on the verge of blowing up in Sister Act 2 while still a student. I, like most other 30-something males, dreamed of crossing paths this fine nubian princess someday, in hopes of kicking my own Mona Lisa style game. Such a day never arrived.

I was less enthused about her subsequent rise to fame as a solo artist, as I personally didn't dig The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. It had less to do with the actual album than it did my next door neighbor's maddening tendency to play that damn CD loud as hell from end to end seemingly everyday after work. Didn't matter, Lauryn didn't need my $17 (isn't it odd how unlike everything else, CD prices have actually come down over the years?) anyhow. She went on to sell over 18 MILLION (cut the check, baby!) copies worldwide, and after a very successful solo tour, was poised to become a songmaker par excellence, a new school Steve Wonder. Basically, the Alicia Keys Prototype v1.0 for compare and contrast purposes if you're a 90's Baby. Thank me later.

Somewhere along the way to her BET Hall of Fame enshrinement, the proverbial wheels fell off. She bore a starting lineup of kids for one of those Bob Marley offspring. The ghostwriters and producers of her solo debut sued for unpaid and uncredited royalties. She allegedly joined a cult of some sort, and started acting strangely and crying unprovoked in public. She dropped an MTV Unplugged album that had no beats, and was lyrically and stylistically scatterbrained. Rumors of mental and substance abuse problems floated. The recording industry created newer, (mostly) less talented and (often) less drama-filled knockoffs (Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, India.Arie, Keys, Amy Winehouse). And eventually, despite being universally hailed as the illest femceee of all time and dropping one of Rolling Stone's 500 Best Albums of All Time, L-Boogie was slowly, but surely forgotten.

Now, after the short lived and hardly noticed Fugees reunion last year, Lauryn is back on the road, touring overseas performing who-knows-what material, and looking like death warmed over. Apparently she is still cracking up on stage, causing concertgoers to walk out and demand refunds. I don't know whether to cry or CRY when I look at photos like these, but damn, somebody get this chick some rehab and a stylist pronto.

Just in case you aren't queasy enough after looking at those pics, here's Lauryn butchering a classic live, singing "Killing Me Softly" very loudly and very badly in a recent concert in Dubai.

If you're still here, and still down for more polyphonic abuse, here's her alleged new single from her alleged upcoming album. It's a hot mess, and I have no idea in hell what she's singing about. Speaking of mid-90's has-beens, that "leaked" single by D'Angelo a few months ago was better. On a somewhat better and loosely related note, I have the new Adriana Evans, and it's pretty darned good.

Killing us, not-so-softly, indeed.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.