In the pantheon music, there are a select list albums that have had the type cultural impact that constitutes them as being hailed among the most important and groundbreaking bodies work. The Miseducation Lauryn Hill, rapper/singer Lauryn Hill's 1998 solo debut, is one those albums and has only grown in legend with the passage time, with many listeners and critics alike ranking it as the greatest rap album from a female all-time.
Just two years prior to the release her debut, Lauryn Hill was on top the world, as her rap group, the Fugees, had shocked the music world with their breakthrough sophomore album, The Score, which would produce the smash singles "Killing Me Stly," "Fu-Gee-La," and "Ready or Not," all which would prominently showcase Hill's talent and charismatic flair. The Score would go on to sell over 16 million copies worldwide, making it one the most successful rap albums all-time and turn the Fugees into critical darlings and international superstars.
However, trouble would arrive in paradise in the form the growing rift between Fugee brainchild Wyclef Jean and Lauryn Hill, who had been romantically involved with one another during their tenure as group-mates. The drama would ultimately spill over and cause the trio to go their separate ways, with many wondering what would be the next move for Lauryn Hill, who had emerged as the group's most popular member at their peak. With Wyclef being credited as the creative genius the group and his own solo debut, The Carnival, being a massive success, it was imperative to Lauryn Hill that her solo album would earn her her just due as a creative and visionary in her own right and serve as evidence that she was more than capable flourishing on her own.
In August 1998, Lauryn Hill would unveil her highly anticipated debut album, The Miseducation Lauryn Hill, to widespread critical acclaim and commercial success, peaking at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with 422,624 copies sold in its first week, breaking a record for first-week sales by a female artist at the time. Led by the chart-topping single "Doo Wop (That Thing)", and the Top-40 hits "Ex-Factor" and "Everything Is Everything," The Miseducation Lauryn Hill would sell over 12 million copies worldwide and earn Hill ten Grammy nominations at the 41st Annual Grammy Awards in 1999, five which she won, including Best New Artist, Best R&B Song, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, and Best R&B Album. The Miseducation Lauryn Hill would also win the Grammy Award for Album the Year, become the first rap album in history to receive that honor, making it one the most decorated rap releases all-time.
Nineteen years after that historic night on February 24, 1999, The Boombox commemorates the classic that is The Miseducation Lauryn Hill by ranking the album from worst-to-first. Where does your favorite track rank?