20 years after the release of her only solo album, Lauryn Hill’s impact on music can still be seen

Written by Charles Odugbesan

Two things are for certain when we talk about good music: 1. Music that has true quality will always stand the test of time and 2. Good music ALWAYS comes back around. On August 25th 1998, Lauryn Hill blessed us with some good… sorry, great music – The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. We can all definitely point to someone we know that has this album as part of their Top 5 all time favourites. This 16 track serving of Neo Soul, R&B and Hip-Hop is widely regarded as one of the most well crafted and important albums in popular culture. Aside from the soothing harmonies and legendary instrumentals, the album is knit together with powerful lyrics that still hold true to this day… the test of time.

Currently two of the worlds most popular artists Drake and Cardi B, both recently paid homage to Ms Hill in their latest releases. Earlier this month, Drake sampled ‘Ex Factor’ and (alongside the music video) delivered a loud and proud female appreciation anthem in ‘Nice for What’. Meanwhile Cardi dropped her highly anticipated ‘Invasion of Privacy’ album with track 5, ‘Be Careful’ (also an Ex Factor sample) showing a much more vulnerable side to the Bronx starlet. 

Good music ALWAYS comes back around and Ms Hill is still out here getting paid! In light of these recent salutes to Lauryn, let’s look at 5 other songs from artists who have sampled The Miseducation.

Whilst still enjoying the success of his September 2013 release of ‘Nothing Was The Same’, Drake kicked off the following summer with Draft Day in early April. Here he slowed down the vocals from Lauryn Hill’s ‘Doo-Wop’, put it on loop and laced it bars that put everyone on notice of his position in the game at that point in time.

“This sample was yellin’ loop meee/Ms Hill please don’t sue me!” J Cole speaks directly to Lauryn confessing that he couldn’t resist sampling the ‘Nothing Even Matters’ instrumental. In the lead up to his second studio album ‘Born Sinner’, Cole gets a few inner thoughts off his chest with ‘Cole Summer’.

Perhaps the first time you may have heard of Rapsody was in a feature verse for Kendrick Lamar’s ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’ album (2015). But the Grammy nominated, Carolina emcee had been plying her trade years prior. Back in 2013, as part of her ‘She Got Game’ album, she worked her magic on a 9th Wonder beat that sampled Lauren’s ‘Ex Factor’, which she titled ‘My Song’.

Cole did it. Rapsody did it. It seems like Carolina natives have the green light on Lauryn Hill remixes. South Carolina’s Nick Grant is the latest to do so as he sampled ‘Doo-Wop’ for his February release of ‘Forever and Always’. NG hopes to release his second album ‘Dreaming Out Loud’ later this year.

Although there is no similarity in terms of instrumental here, lyrics count all the same! “It’s funny how money change a situation.” The opening line from The Miseducation echoed by The Young OG, Fabolous. The Bedford Stuyvesant veteran sampled this line from Hill’s ‘Lost Ones’ in the opening track of his sixth studio album released on Christmas Day 2014.

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