It’s been over two decades since Lauryn Hill released her landmark album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.
Aside from her live project MTV Unplugged No. 2.0 in 2002, the former Fugees icon never released another studio album.
In a rare email interview with Rolling Stone for its “500 Greatest Albums” podcast on Amazon Music, Hill revealed why she never recorded a follow-up to her 1998 debut, sharing that no one from her label reached out to help facilitate the process.
“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. Did I say ever? Ever!” she said.
After the release of her Grammy-winning album, she was bombarded by outside opinions, which tainted the experience.
“With the Miseducation, there was no precedent. I was, for the most part, free to explore, experiment and express,” she explained. “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.”
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, which featured classics like “Ex-Factor,” “Doo Wop (That Thing),” and “To Zion,” landed at No. 10 on Rolling Stone‘s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
In her interview, Hill reflected on the album’s legacy. “I’ve always been pretty critical of myself artistically, so of course there are things I hear that could have been done differently but the LOVE in the album, the passion, it’s intention is to me, undeniable,” she said. “I think 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’d sacrificed to give us, and to let my peers know that we could walk in that truth, proudly and confidently.”
She added, “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 the Miseducation did that and I believe I still do this–defy convention when the convention is questionable.”