I, like many, have been very disappointed in the career choices Lauryn Hill has made over the past decade or so. It would be one thing if she’d just retired to civilian life, become a mom, decided to pursue other avenues. However, the bizarre interviews and requests (I don’t care how tortured you are-asking interviewers to pay for the privilege of speaking to you and keeping your fans (who paid to see you) waiting for hours to see you on stage is not cool) have left a bad taste in my mouth. Every once in a while, though, Lauryn (and I ain’t callin’ her Ms. Hill unless people start walking around calling me Mr. Blerd) reminds us of the great promise she had in the wake of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.
It made perfect sense for her to show up on Jimmy Fallon’s weeklong tribute to Bob Marley (commemorating the thirtieth anniversary of the reggae godfather’s passing). After all, by birthing several of the legend’s grandchildren, she’s the most famous and visible person in the Marley lineage. Truth is, she sang her ass off too, turning out faithful and soulful versions of “Chances Are” and “Could You Be Loved”. She was good enough that we’ll ignore her Joe Cocker-esque spasms and her ridiculous outfit.
It’s one thing for an artist to lose the creative spark, but it’s quite another when an artist still has it but just doesn’t know what to do with it. I thought I’d signed off of Team Lauryn, but performances like this give me too much hope.