Lessons Learned from Lauryn Hill

Miss Lauryn Hill, L-Boogie, is an extremely talented singer/songwriter/producer/actress who blazed a path to stardom on the strength of her works with the Fugees and the monstrous success of her solo album "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" in 1998. When the album dropped, people lost their minds. It was fresh, it was purposeful, the phrasing and tone were flawless. One reporter said that what Kurt Cobain was to angsty white teens and twenty-somethings, Lauryn Hill was to their "urban" counterparts. I don't know if that's true but the album had definite impact.

In the time since "Miseducation" rocketed to the top of the charts; numerous pundits, pontificators, stans and fans have been awaiting (eagerly, angrily, insistently) some sort of follow-up, return to 5-Grammy-stature glory from her.

Ms. Hill instead faded from the spotlight (until recently) to birth and raise her children. Her ill-fated romance with Wyclef Jean and her complicated association with married Rohan "son of Bob" Marley have provided plenty of gossip over the years. Her erratic behavior, inability to show up on time (or at all) to a string of concerts (where she was either fabulous or a complete failure) and the speculation on the fatherhood of her sixth child have sent folks into a veritable feeding frenzy.

The judgments about her life choices, why she couldn't/shouldn't do one thing or the other... they're all kind of moot, no? It's her life, she's living it, and she owes us not one damn bit of an explanation. I watched all the "I'm so disappointed" tweets and posts telling her how she's "doing it wrong" and gave Le Bougie Shrug. I look at her life (what I know of it) as a learning experience.

Here's what her life has taught me:

1. Even the most talented women have a hard time picking the right men - Well, this has been proven over and over and over again. The list of talented women "done wrong" by their men is epic. Even if we just stick to singers, that should be a whole section on Netflix - Somebody Done the Girl Singer Wrong Movies. Aretha, Mahalia, Patsy Clien, Winona - we could be here for days making a list. One day, I'd love to explore why successful and otherwise genius women have such a hard time choosing lifemates. 

2. You can't live for other people's expectations - Has it ever occurred to anybody that maybe Lauryn didn't want to continue to make cutting edge music? Or act? Or produce? Maybe she planned all along to raise a gang of kids? Who knows, maybe those children will be the next Wailers (as in Bob Marley and the...) Whatevs.

3. Some men just raggedy. No matter who their Daddy is: [Let's be clear that Papa was a rolling stone his darned self]Whether Rohan is the father of her sixth child or not, we do know he seems to have no problem slinging life seed  hither, thither and yon while breaking all manner of vows and promises to the women he beds (I hope that Brazilian model has a diaphragm kissed by Jesus). The fact that he was so quick to hop onto social media and deny that this child is his... ninja, really? What. About. The. Other. Five? Jerk.

4. Maybe some people have just one blast of perfection in them. This is why we have so many one-hit wonders, sophomore burnouts in sports, etc. Maybe Lauryn only had "Miseducation" inside of her to share and that was that. Not everyone sustains greatness over time. Maybe some people just hit that pinnacle for a season and then they're done. 

I have to admit when she announced that she was naming her sixth child Marley even though Rohan isn't the father, I had to sit quietly for a minute. She really is doing the utmost and one does have to pause and wonder if she has listened to any of her own lyrics lately? Le Sigh... it's her life. Do you, Lauren.

Any thoughts on Ms. Hill?
(p.s. I just went through and corrected all the spelling, etc. I guess writing posts at 3:00am isn't what it used to be!)