It’s been over a decade since Lauryn Hill left the Fugees, went solo, and dropped one of the most remembered hip-hop albums ever … The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. And, aside from a few one-off performance dates here and there, you rarely hear much from Miss Hill.
However, it’s 2010, and the rapper/singer says she’s back and ready to record again.
Following a recent performance at the Harmony Festival in Santa Rosa, Calif. last week, Hill told the National Public Radio that “it’s just that time.”
But, is it too late? Afterall, Hill is 35, over 10 years older than she was when she left the music scene at the height of her fame, following a five-trophy Grammy night in 1999.
In the NPR story, she finally explained her long absence.
“There were a number of different reasons,” Hill told the NPR. “But partly, the support system that I needed was not necessarily in place. There were things about myself, personal-growth things, that I had to go through in order to feel like it was worth it.
“In fact, as musicians and artists, it’s important we have an environment — and I guess when I say environment, I really mean the [music] industry, that really nurtures these gifts. Oftentimes, the machine can overlook the need to take care of the people who produce the sounds that have a lot to do with the health and well-being of society, or at least some aspect of society. And it’s important that people be given the time that they need to go through, to grow, so that the consciousness level of the general public is properly affected. Oftentimes, I think people are forced to make decisions prematurely. And then that sound radiates.”
Hill says with her youngest child now two years old and “old enough” for her to be away from the family to get to work, she’s ready to begin recording new music.
“I’m starting to get excited again. Believe it or not, I think what people are attracted to about me, if anything, is my passion. People got exposed to my passion through music and song first … And I think that can be infectious.”
As for what you should expect from Hill’s new music, she says more singing.
“I’m trying to open up my range and really sing more,” she explained. “With The Fugees initially, and even with Miseducation, it was very hip-hop — always a singing over beats. I don’t think people have really heard me sing out. So if I do record again, perhaps it will have an expanded context. Where people can hear a bit more.”
You can catch Lauryn Hill on this year’s Rock The Bells Festival Tour Series. For dates and info, visit RockTheBells.net.
Read the full interview with NPR over at NPR.org.