Lauryn Hill Blasts Her Haters On A Hard-Hitting New Song
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Less than three months ago, Ms. Lauryn Hill returned to rapping in a very real way. As a guest on “Nobody” from Nas’ King’s Disease II, L-Boogie gripped the mic and spit her truth with dazzling precision. One of the best Rap verses of 2021 found Hill confronting her critics (in the media and social media alike), while highlighting her bigger purposes. In the weeks that followed, Lauryn, Wyclef Jean, and Pras reunited as the Fugees for a series of concert dates (the remaining of which have now been postponed—reportedly due to pandemic issues). It appears that 2021 marks a comeback season for one of Hip-Hop’s elite-yet-elusive talents.
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This weekend, Lauryn returned for more, courtesy of a soundtrack, The Harder They Fall. The Roc Nation Records LP is produced by the Western’s director, Jeymes Samuel. Along with a hard-hitting collaboration from JAY-Z, Jadakiss, and Conway The Machine, the compilation’s song by Lauryn and acclaimed Malian actress/singer Fatoumata Diawara is a gem. For Hill’s part, “Black Woman” keeps the same energy as “Nobody,” and the MC does not mince her words.
“Follow, follow, people, they know they follow / People, all know they copy, people all in my grotto / They see me like a genie, try to keep me in a bottle / Petty, petty people, keep them incommunicado / They tie you up in strings, they play ni**as like pizzicato / Lose sight of the picture scripture, now they not so steady / Meanwhile I’m like Curtis Mayfield, getting people ready,” begins Lauryn after some chorus and bridge work from Diawara and Hill, respectively. The flow is not unlike that of “Nobody.” She continues, “To see into the future then cut through like a machete / Or Cutlass, all these trappings leavin’ ni**as gutless / You can’t make moves for justice, you can’t make no adjustments / Drowning in corruption, Charlie addict to convenience / Now they got you caught up and callin’ freedom extremists / We’re not in agreement, I won’t lay down politely / I closed my mouth for years and they still tried to fight me / I sat down on the bench and they still tried to bite me / They think they buried my career and promoted my peers to spite me / But they can’t tell me nothing Charlie, they don’t underwrite me / I’ve had a lot of money thrown at me but none of that shit excites me / It’s just another kind of cage to get up in my psyche / To use me as an instrument to further push their puppet show / But I’m not inexperienced and this not my first rodeo.”
Lauryn Hill Responds To Her Critics In A MAJOR Way. This Is A Re-Education.
The song repeatedly references a “Charlie” character. Lauryn clearly feels attacked during her time away from the spotlight. Referencing feeling “bitten” is also interesting, coming from an artist who was balancing rapping and singing at a time when it was not in vogue compared to today. Since 2018, Ms. Hill has been vocal about responding to things said in the press about her.
The closing couplets say: “I’m not so shallow Charlie, I call it too precisely / Separate bone from marrow, so much soul that they dislike me / Intuitives, Charlie, we be like fugitives / Until the universe responds to show them who the student is.” It’s curious that Hill uses “fugitives” in her diction, perhaps a proud allusion to her Refugee Camp movement—perhaps not.
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You can hear additional selections from The Harder They Fall, including JAY-Z and Kid Cudi’s first collaboration in over a decade, on the official AFH playlist, as well as new music from Stalley & Apollo Brown, Planet Asia, Ransom & Rome Streetz, Young Thug, Meek Mill, Atmosphere, Mick Jenkins, and Rapsody, among others. Lauryn Hill and Nas’ “Nobody” is also included.
#BonusBeat: AFH‘s What’s The Headline podcast about Lauryn Hill and the recent Fugees’ reunion (available in audio and video):