Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Heir Apparent (Summer Grind Issue 2012)

Despite the fact that we live in a country that is ruled by democracy, there are kings and queens amongst us in everyday life. This type of thinking can be applied to music as whole.
Just think about it.

he greatest example is the King of Pop, a title that Michael Jackson held with distinction for many years despite what scandal, running gag, or social pariah he may have become. His talent is immortal and the throne cannot be filled.

The Notorious B.I.G. left a throne empty for a long time as The King of New York. Although I personally am not convinced entirely of Jay-Z’s claim to it I see that the throne has many stewards who are more than willing to defend it and what it stands for.

Mary J. Blige is the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul and there are numerous others. I say all that to say this or rather pose the question: is there an heir apparent where Lauryn Hill is concerned?

I’ve come to the conclusion that The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is pretty much all we’re going to get out of the superbly talented Ms. Hill. Finally after many years I have come to terms with that miserable fact. But in coming to terms with it I have been casting about the music world to find the heir apparent for the throne that may have once been hers.

In recent reviews I have cited her influences in Ginette Claudette, Amanda Seales, and Teyana Taylor. Any of these talented women could fill that role if given the proper support and the right backing. So I will keep my eye on each of them as well as any other female songstresses. But I also see the other side of things as well.

Is Lauryn Hill even replaceable?

Maybe in my (or even our) search for some similar feeling that ran through me when I hear “Ex-Factor” or “Lost Ones” I am merely looking for pale imitations of her brilliance. I take nothing away from the mass of talented women out there doing music but there may never be another Lauryn Hill…unless we actually start cloning people.

Even still…

I will look at these talents and seek my ‘heir apparent’, all the while thinking that no matter how good they actually are they can never be Lauryn. So despite their vicinity to the throne, can they ever actually take it? I wonder…

Courtesy of Lucius Black for Royalty Magazine


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