After her amazing level of success with The Fugees the silver voiced goddess stepped away for her solo effort. For one blessed moment in 1998 she gave the world The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. This album was a juggernaut with its ten Grammy nominations, five Grammy wins, and its eighty-one weeks atop the Billboard 200. But then…
…nothing. Surely we got an album from her appearance on MTV Unplugged. That was fine but we thirst for her voice again. Instead we are regaled to sniffing at the air hopefully when a previously unreleased track comes out (or leaks), hoping that it’ll herald her return. Yet mostly we’ve been waiting in vain. So we look elsewhere.
Case in point, Teyana Taylor.
I first heard her mixtape while riding in the car with a close friend. I was intrigued by her sound, having caught the tail end of a song as I was getting into the car. So I did my research. Within my purview of everything I hadn’t the chance to hear anything from her first album From a Planet Called Harlem, least of which a song from it called “Google Me”. It was this that made me give her a chance.
But her second album’s title gave me pause.
The Misunderstanding of Teyana Taylor.
Anyone and everyone could see the parallels between her title and Lauryn’s. Even the album covers are slightly similar. For a second I felt it was a marginally talented young woman trying to be Lauryn Hill. But I kept those thoughts down as best I could to listen to the album.
I was (and still am) impressed with her. The album is like a modern day Lauryn Hill without her actually being on the album. That is the highest praise imaginable.
Standout tracks to me include “You Know”, a track of a woman in love warning a blasé lover that despite her love for him it will one day reach a breaking point. The Travis Porter assisted “Choosin’” is also catchy and grows on you. It is the perfect mixture of two styles. I must also name “Mystery Lover”, the desperate search for her knight in shining armor.
That question I asked in the title of this article isn’t for me to answer for everyone. I can only answer for myself. Download it and find your own answers. You won’t be disappoint, whatever the outcome.
Courtesy of Lucius Black for Royalty Magazine