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Lauryn Hill is widely regarded as one of music’s best lyricists. Her socially conscious songs, ability to rap and sing, and skillful wordplay made her a top artist in the ’90s. But much to the disappointment of her fans, she’s only released one studio album.

Here’s the truth about her career and the reason she never released a follow-up to The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill — in her own words.

Lauryn Hill
Lauryn Hill at a performance in 2016 | Erika Goldring/Getty Images North America

Lauryn Hill struck gold with ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’

After breaking away from The Fugees in ’97, Hill launched her solo career. She released her first album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, in 1998 to critical and commercial acclaim.

Featuring songs such as “Doo Wop (That Thing),” “Ex-Factor,” and “Everything Is Everything,” the album earned positive reviews from critics, broke several sales records, and cinched five Grammy Awards, including one for album of the year.

Even decades later, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is still considered one of the best rap albums in music history. It was also the only album by a female rapper to top the Billboard 200 until 2018 when Cardi B released her Grammy-winning debut, Invasion of Privacy.

‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’ was Lauryn Hill’s first and last studio album

Despite her popularity and the success of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Hill has never released a second studio album.

She did release a live album, MTV Unplugged 2.0 — a series of songs she performed in a 2002 MTV Unplugged special. But the reception to the project didn’t come close to that of Miseducation, drawing mixed reviews and moderate sales, though retrospective analysis has been more positive.

Since then, Hill has largely stepped away from the entertainment world, limiting her public appearances and hardly ever releasing music. Her most recent offering is 2019’s “Guarding the Gates” from the Queen and Slim soundtrack, which was her first song in six years.


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Why Lauryn Hill never released a sophomore album

In an interview on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums podcast, Hill revealed why she never released a follow-up to her acclaimed 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 claimed.

“With ‘The Miseducation,’ there was no precedent. I was, for the most part, free to explore, experiment and express,” she continued. “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.”

It’s a disappointing story, for sure, especially given the anticipation for a follow-up to Miseducation. We can only hope she’ll put something out in the future. But either way, at least she left us with a classic collection of songs with great replay value.