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The 50 Greatest Debut Albums in Hip-Hop History

43. Lauryn Hill, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

Label: Ruffhouse/Columbia
Release Date: 8/25/1998

Everyone knew The Fugees were dope and Lauryn Hill was an essentlu key to their success, but no one was really ready for The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Few albums featured such a broad scope of pure talent. Ms. Hill could do it all and do it so effortlessly. She could be smart, she should be tough, she could be sexy, she could be sweet, and she could switch up her style in a flash. She could rap, she could sing, she could produce (people forget, she produced every song on the album).

The album's greatest accomplishment might be what Rolling Stone described as it's ability to "filter hip-hop through a womanist lens." It's unfair to call it a pure "rap" album (songs like "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" feature no rapping at all), but then again, it's hard to find any genre that can encompass all of Ms. Hill's enormous gifts.

Tags: lauryn_hill
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