On May 4th, Lauryn Hill, formerly of The Fugees, released her latest single, Neurotic Society (Compulsory Mix), a single which I have currently blasting in my office and it makes me oh so sad. Why sad? Well, it’s just so damn good but then again, Lauryn Hill has always been that damn good, but it makes me sad because I know that nothing more will come from this single. This is not a single with an album soon to follow. Regardless of what Lauryn Hill might say in the press, regardless of the fact that she recently signed a 5-song, one million dollar deal with Sony…let me say that again: Lauryn Hill recently signed a 5-song, one million dollar deal with Sony. It does make sense in the grand scheme of things. She’s soon to do a 3-month stint in the Big House for tax evasion (Lauryn owes $504,000 in back taxes)…but I digress. Neurotic Society is what it is, folks. A really good single from an exceptional, yet unstable artist.
…it’s just so damn good but then again, Lauryn Hill has always been that damn good
Lauryn Hill (it’s been reported that she goes by Ms. Hill now, but I personally don’t give a fuck. She wasn’t born ‘Ms.’ if she was, I’d call her Ms., but her mama named her Lauryn, so she’s Lauryn…) rose from the ashes of acclaim with her one-time group, The Fugees and the release of their stratospheric sophomore offering, The Score, only to surpass that in 1998 with the release of her fantabulous debut album as a solo artist, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. That was 1998 and that was also the last time the world would hear another full length LP from Lauryn. On May 7th, 2002 Lauryn Hill released MTV Unplugged 2.0, an album where, if you were lucky (or unlucky, depending on your feelings on the woman) enough to see the broadcast of this particular unplugged, then surely you remember baring witness to Lauryn’s meltdown (and if you, my fellow kilSters want to see the meltdown for yourself, it happens 5:32 into the song, “I Gotta Find Peace of Mind“. Read the rest of this first before y’all start going Youtube crazy). The album itself garnered mixed reviews from fans and critics alike. But still, just because it has the MTV logo on it does not mean much. It’s still not a studio LP follow up to Miseducation. Oh sure, there’s been talk of a follow-up, and over the years there have been a spattering of singles released that would suggest that a follow-up, but alas, a follow-up album was not forthcoming.
In 2008 (10 years after 1998), an album titled, Ms. Hill was released. Amazon has the album listed as being released on April 15th (Hmmm. The last day of tax season? What a coinkidink). The album itself was a compilation of tracks left off of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, 2.0, and various singles released since 1998. Lauryn Hill has her fans wait 5 years for the next meaty morsel, “Neurotic Society (Compulsory Mix)” and quite simply, it’s refreshing, it’s hip, it’s cool and yeah, it makes a difference that the person behind the song is Lauryn Hill, because say what you will about L-Boogie, because after all is said and done with and with all her missteps forgiven, Lauryn Hill is still hip and cool. And yes, sure we can say that this single came out when it did because Lauryn is in need of green, but you know what? With Lauryn going to jail for the next three months, anyone who’s already heard her single can’t deny that it’s quite the forget-me-not. A tease is what it is. But maybe not. Maybe Lauryn Hill will come out of her incarceration with a brand new perspective on life and an album’s worth of new material to boot. But that’s utopian thinking and thusly remains to be seen. For now, we have “Neurotic Society” and whether Lauryn released the single to pay for her legal fees or what have you, I, for one, am glad that she released SOMETHING, regardless of the intent behind it.
With Lauryn going to jail for the next three months, anyone who’s already heard her single can’t deny that it’s quite the forget-me-not.
Whether Lauryn Hill knows it or not, she is loved and ultimately, no matter how long she might take to release her next work, be it single or (here’s hoping…) full length album, her fans will be there to take in whatever she’s ready to give them, whenever she’s ready to part with her art. Oh, to be the queen and to know it.
If you haven’t already purchased Lauryn Hill’s latest single, click here