Lauryn Hill Teams Up With Fela Kuti’s Son & Band For A Stunning Tribute (Video)
For many years now, Lauryn Hill has been re-arranging her classic songs during performances. At times, this leads to great frustration for fans who want to hear the hits they know and love performed as they were recorded. On other occasions, however, Hill’s changes can lead to the kind of magic that can only be experienced when music is heard live.
This past September, one of those magical moments occurred in Paris, France, as part of a tribute to Afrobeat pioneer and activist, Fela Kuti. During a performance of “Lost Ones,” Hill was joined onstage by Kuti’s son, Seun Kuti, as well as Fela’s former band, Egypt 80, who now play with Seun.
What starts off as an already frenetic version of Lauryn’s kiss-off from The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, goes to a completely different level at the 1:30 mark. After what seems like the end of the song, a rapid guitar lick kicks off Fela’s 1976 song, “Zombie.” Hill seizes the moment, continuing “Lost Ones,” effectively making it a live mashup. From there, the song turns into a high octane jam session with Seun on the sax, a keyboard solo, African dancers and an all-out celebration of Kuti.
In the past, Hill has been criticized for making audiences wait, while she “aligns her energy.” This clip shows that when her energy is right, she can hold her own with the best of them.