With Miseducation, Lauryn Hill created an album that is still considered one of the best in hip-hop history–but following its release, she stepped away from the spotlight and never produced another studio album. During a recent interview with Rolling Stone, the musician finally explains why she never created a true sophomore album after such a successful debut.
“The wild thing is no one from my label has ever called me and asked how can we help you make another album, EVER…EVER. Did I say ever? Ever!” she revealed during Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums podcast. “With The Miseducation, there was no precedent. I was, for the most part, free to explore, experiment, and express. After The Miseducation, there were scores of tentacled obstructionists, politics, repressing agendas, unrealistic expectations, and saboteurs EVERYWHERE. 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.”
Hill went on to talk about all of the love that album still receives to this day, crediting it to all the love that was poured into making the project.
“I’ve always been pretty critical of myself artistically, so of course there are things I hear that could have been done differently but the LOVE in the album, the passion, it’s intention is to me, undeniable,” Lauryn continued. “I think my intention was simply to make something that made my foremothers and forefathers in music and social and political struggle know that someone received what they’d sacrificed to give us, and to let my peers know that we could walk in that truth, proudly and confidently. At that time, I felt like it was a duty or responsibility to do so. … I challenged the norm and introduced a new standard. I believe The Miseducation did that and I believe I still do this—defy convention when the convention is questionable.”
You can hear Lauryn Hill’s full interview on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums podcast on Amazon Music.