Last year, Lauryn Hill‘s The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill was selected as the tenth-best album on Rolling Stone‘s 500 Greatest Albums of all-time list. As a part of the magazine’s new Amazon podcast, the legendary singer reflected — via email — on the undeniable classic and some of the pains she still carries more than 20 years after its release.
“I was called crazy,” she said in regards to her decision to discuss the effects and realities of systemic racism on the album. “Now, over a decade later, we hear this as part of the mainstream chorus. Ok, so chalk some of it up to leadership and how that works. I was clearly ahead, but you also have to acknowledge the blatant denial that went down with that. The public abuse and ostracizing while suppressing and copying what I had done, with still no real acknowledgment that all of that even happened, is a lot.”
She also revealed why she thinks The Miseducation has continued to receive critical acclaim over the decades. “I challenged the norm and introduced a new standard,” she said. “I believe The Miseducation did that and I believe I still do this — defy convention when the convention is questionable.”
Lastly, she spoke on the lack of support she received from her label after the album dropped. “The wild thing is no one from my label has ever called me and asked how can we help you make another album, EVER,” she revealed. “People had included me in their own narratives of THEIR successes as it pertained to my album, and if this contradicted my experience, I was considered an enemy.”
You can listen to the Rolling Stone podcast, which also features H.E.R., Jamila Woods, and more, here.