Talib Kweli recently published an in-depth essay titled “In Defense Of Ms. Hill,” his response to a prior article called “It’s Finally Time to Stop Caring About Lauryn Hill.”
Kweli first delved into the genesis of Black Star (his group with Yasiin Bey, aka Mos Def) and in the process explained how Mos Def’s concerts differed from his. “Yasiin once explained to me that when people pay to see him, they are paying to see what he feels like expressing,” he wrote. “So it doesn’t matter whether he does his ‘hits’ or not.”
The Brooklyn MC went on to sing Hill’s praises by mentioning two LPs: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and MTV Unplugged No. 2.0, the initial being her landmark compilation and the reason why most fell in love with the singer/wordsmith. Kweli ultimately declared her artistry and the aforementioned contributions supreme, before defending the legend in telling the self-absorbed to “get over” it.
When you pay for a Lauryn Hill concert you are not paying for her to do what you want, you are paying for her to do what she wants. She is not an iPod nor is she a trained monkey. She doesn’t have to do her hits and she doesn’t have to do the songs the way you want to hear them. She doesn’t owe you that. The world does not revolve around you, and you ain’t gotta like it. Get over yourself. If you have a negative experience at her concert, go home, put on The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and the next time she does come through your town, don’t go to her concert. Problem solved. Just because you had a negative experience at a Lauryn Hill show doesn’t mean her contribution to the world is invalid or deserves to be disrespected.