London April 19 (TNS): American singer, song writer and rapper Lauryn Hill has announced April 20 the date for heading out on tour to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the iconic debut album, “The Miseducation”, which turns 20 this year.
After the April 20th date for the US, international dates were expected to follow, said BBC in a report.
The singer will perform the multi Grammy-winning record in its entirety at each of the shows. After chart success with the Fugees, Hill went solo and released Miseducation – her only studio record.
The seminal album has gone three times platinum in the UK since its 1998 release, selling more than 19 million copies worldwide.
At the 1999 Grammys, the record won five awards including album of the year – which to this date is still the only hip-hop album to have done so.
Hill brought together the sounds of reggae, rap and hip hop infused with a soulful sweetness mixed with authentic lyrics.
Broadcaster Trevor Nelson says the importance of Lauryn Hill’s album should not be underestimated.
“She is by far the single most important female artist of my time. She was the second coming,” he says, going on to name her record as his all-time favourite album by a female artist.
“She was as powerful a singer, as say Mary J [Blige] – not perfect like Whitney [Houston], but really emotive – and then, for me, she was the finest female rapper of her generation as well.”
The Radio 1Xtra DJ says the content of the lyrics was as key to the success as the musicality.
“It was really pure. She went against the grain and it brought credibility. People were looking at R&B records as very ghetto fabulous. At the time it was all about shiny videos, with girls in bikinis – but the substance was lacking.
“Lauryn Hill brought substance to the game at a major level. There were a lot of artists who had substance that didn’t get heard but she just had it all – she had the whole package.”
DJ and Hits Radio presenter Sarah-Jane Crawford agrees calling the content “articulate and intellectual”.
“She is an incredible rapper by anyone’s standards – I can’t think of another female rapper doing things like that at that time.
“She talked about her family, about women respecting themselves and being honest about feelings. She was real.
“She had this emotional maturity beyond her years – every song you could connect to. And she did it all to these Afro beats and was proud of her heritage.
“She was proud to be black, she didn’t straighten her hair – which was a big deal. She was an original black beauty.”
Part of Hill’s unprecedented success was that she broke through to white audiences as a rapper and hip-hop artist, Crawford adds.
“Lauryn Hill managed to connect to a mass global audience and manage to be socially conscious at the same time.
“She was telling young people not to be promiscuous and to have confidence. She touches on race and youth and gender.”
Nelson says she was a lyricist second to none: “You feel you have to listen to the words,” he says, admitting he usually prefers a song’s hook or bassline. “Even if you’re not a lyrical type of person. It forces you. I listened to every lyric on her album.”