JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

Lauryn Hill, please rise up …

So after several years or torturing the wife and I with Dan Zanes and Laurie Berkner and all sorta of kiddie drivel, I anxiously awaited the day when my daughter Casey, now 7, would abandon that particularly horrific genre of music for more adult stuff.

Ah, the good ol’ days.

All Casey wants to hear is Z100—our local pop station. Z100! Z100! Z100! Z100! Z100. Seriously, I’m losing my fucking mind. Brittney Spears—horrible. Rihanna—mostly crap. The Black Eyes Peas—I mean, Kid ‘n’ Play: 2011 edition. Ke$sha—probably the worst thing ever. I mean, these pop stations play the same songs over and over and over again, until the songs are literally burned onto a sector of your brain. Which maybe I could deal with, were the music digestable. But it’s not. It’s simplistic drivel, usually filled with blatant sexual messages completely inappropriate for anyone under the age of, oh, 90.

Which brings me to Lauryn Hill. Boy, do I miss her. Back in the late 1990s, when The Miseducation of … was ruling radio, I was the happiest homo Sapien in world history. First off, the CD is friggin’ amazing. Every song layered and detailed and perfected by her beautiful, edgy voice. Second, Hill sings with such heart and pain and joy. There was emotion in every note; she didn’t just blurt out bullshit (a la Spears—who I still believe to be a large-breasted robot sent here to kill us). The music oozed from her, note by note.

Anyhow, a couple of months ago Hill emerged from whatever hole she moved to to sing the above song. She looks a tad different, but her voice remains crystal gold.