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Old 12-30-2010, 08:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Lauryn Hill Comeback Tour Faces Boos & Bottles at Concert

From the NY Times 12-30-10

Worth the Wait? Just Ask Her


It was well past 11 on Tuesday night at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, and Ms. Lauryn Hill — maybe the most gifted female rapper in history, one of the most versatile pop talents in recent memory and also one of the great modern celebrity recluses — was nowhere in sight. By the time her D.J. played the third Nicki Minaj song of the night you had to wonder if it was a taunt.

After all, he’d been thrown to the wolves more than an hour before, for the thankless work of distracting the people in the crowd, many of whom had been waiting for upwards of three hours. Each minute without Ms. Hill’s presence gnawed away at the collective good will in the room. After a while a few cups and bottles arced through the air and landed onstage at the feet of her band, musicians sent to the slaughter, who’d been idly vamping along with the songs the D.J. was playing — anything to pass the time, really.

Two fans in the front row hand-wrote signs: “You Just Lost One,” “This Is Insulting.” One of the keyboard players taped a reply on his kit: “I Was on Time.” When Ms. Hill finally took the stage a little after midnight — a few minutes after arriving at the club and getting carried over piles of snow on the street, one witness reported — she was primed for a fight.

“Don’t do that. That’s disrespectful,” she told the fans with the signs, motioning with her finger to the exit at the back of the room, where she suggested they go.

To the crowd she was both thankful and indignantly apologetic. “I spent my entire 20s sacrificing my life to give you love. So when I hear people complain, I don’t know what to tell you,” she said. “I personally know I’m worth the wait.” (Maybe that’s why the D.J. introduced her with the résumé roll call “Rapper! Singer! Producer! Humanitarian!”)

After her first song, a lithe, pretty cover of Bob Marley’s “Forever Loving Jah,” she finally yanked the sign off her keyboard player’s kit, telling him: “You trying to escape the bottles and the cups. Next time you take it, you take it like a man. We in this together, brother.”

Somehow this all came off as genial, the protestations of a performer who, for more than a decade, has been chasing a muse that has led her in almost every direction but forward. Ms. Hill — who of late goes by Ms. Lauryn Hill professionally — is more than a decade removed from her post-Fugees solo debut, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” (Columbia), which earned her five Grammys, including album of the year. Since then she has released one album — “MTV Unplugged No. 2.0” in 2002 — and has made occasional live appearances. (Her first scheduled New York show on this mini-tour, Monday night at the Highline Ballroom, was rescheduled in the aftermath of the blizzard.)

Mostly, though, she has stirred strong feelings, still drawing the sort of intense admiration that, as was clear during the early part of this show, can turn sour when expectations aren’t met. The smattering of boos from the crowd that had begun before she took the stage continued once she arrived, wearing an ornate patchwork caftanlike top and huge gold hoop earrings. “We do the best we can with what we have,” Ms. Hill said. “It’s like getting in shape.”

Though Ms. Hill was once known for rapping and singing with equal authority, both skills were a little worse for wear here. There’s a persistent rasp in her singing voice that slashes even her most beautiful passages, like the lithe one at the end of “Zealots,” and her cadences were cluttered and a bit lumpy.

Ms. Hill is 35 now — sometimes during this show, like on the cathartic “When It Hurts So Bad,” she appeared far older; sometimes, as on an invigorated “Ready or Not,” she appeared far younger. And while the new arrangements weren’t always successful, they were confident, as if Ms. Hill were rewriting the old songs, learning new ways to love them or to shake them loose from negative associations. (On “Fu-Gee-La” she was limber, adding even more Caribbean flourishes to those that were there to begin with, though she didn’t mention Teena Marie, who died on Sunday and whose “Ooo La La La” was the basis for that song.)

On most of the numbers Ms. Hill picked out one lyric and worked it over, bending it all sorts of ways. Sometimes it was poignant — “Stayed too long and gave you too much,” she chanted on “Hurt So Bad” — and sometimes it was just a sentence, a set of words to chew on.

Before a slightly constrained version of “Killing Me Softly” near the end of the night, she again thanked the audience — the three-fourths of it that remained, at least, which didn’t include Prince, who left early — for its patience and presumably, its indulgence. “The point of this is so we can give you something full of character and integrity and not compromised at all,” she said. By those measures, if those are the measures that count, it was a success.
Any comments? I think it's sad that after a decade Lauryn hasn't developed any new material, not even a single new song. Keeping the audience waiting three hours is inexcusable.
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Last edited by Gavin B.; 12-30-2010 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 12-30-2010, 01:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think The Mis-Education of Lauryn Hill is a great album and she obviously has a lot of talent, but she deserves more than bottles and signs if she treats her fans like ****.
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Old 12-30-2010, 01:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Miseducation is good enough to where I would never be insulting to her no matter what the circumstance of a single night turned out to be. I've taken a lot of pleasure from that record and what she did with The Fugees.

Her acoustic record or whatever that was sucked though. I hope she gets it together and makes another winner because Miseducation is like Marvin Gaye level good.
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Old 12-30-2010, 01:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Turning up late for your fans is always cuntish.She's a talented lass but she's cuckoo. Get help or quit.
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Old 12-30-2010, 02:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Old 12-30-2010, 03:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Lauryn Hill is/was incredibly talented. Probably my favorite female artists ever, though I wouldn't consider myself a huge fan or anything. If she's gonna show up that late to a show, then I have no problem with boos, signs and tossing bottles onto the stage as long as they aren't being thrown to hurt somebody.

Lauryn Hill went off the deep end a long time ago. She is still living off of the Miseducation CD, cause she's either too lazy or too crazy to write anything new. It's kinda sad.
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Old 01-04-2011, 08:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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She's brilliant and i love her music but,im shocked that she'd be that late and respond so arrogantly. I feel she's maybe lost a bit of touch with society. Music doesnt seem to be so important to her anymore, I mean look at how long she's been out the game for, look at her presentation, her late arrival as well as her poor delivery. She simply isnt hungry and in hip hop thats just a formula for death...I mean what happened to 50? guy lost his hunger and....gone. I personally would put the likes of Minaj above her, simply because Hill's just lost it, attacking her band members, being mad at the crowd, i mean wtf. She's out of order, she goes on about respecting herself so much and how much of her life she wasted because she gave lots up for music, well, with all this self respect she's investing in and time for herself she keeping, it seems she's lost all traces of respect for the people who made, and make her the person that she is.
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