Thanks to my girl Joyce Davis in Atlanta (she’s such a maven!) I got a sneak preview of the Essence February cover of Ms. Hill. I’m not part of the crew that has jumped on the “What’s up with Lauryn?” bandwagon. I am blessed to have known her back in the S. Orange/Booga Basement/”Score” days and know that this woman has a lot to offer the world.

Writer Joan Morgan clearly agrees with me when she says in the article:

I am about to meet a woman whose creative brilliance not only gave birth to two of the most important albums in hip-hop history but whose very being —her rawness, her honesty, her vulnerability about love, her budding moral and spiritual consciousness —also shocked the world into realizing that hip-hop could still offer access to a higher plane. L-Boogie, as we once affectionately called her, was the hope of hip-hop, pure and simple. Chocolate. Visceral. Sexy. Smart as hell. Successful. Paid. And she bore not one but four of reggae legend Bob Marley’s grandchildren, for God’s sake. Lauryn’s iconic rise and international acclaim might just mean that the world was readying itself for Black Girl Rule.

Lauryn says about her hiatus:

It took a considerable amount of courage, faith and risk to gain the confidence to be myself. I had to deal with folks who weren’t happy about that. I was a young woman with an evolved mind who was not afraid of her beauty or her sexuality. For some people that’s uncomfortable. They didn’t understand how female and strong work together. Or young and wise. Or Black and divine.

I’ve seen my style, my look, everywhere. I wasn’t really trying to share my style, I was just trying to be me and exist. Instead I’’ve seen my concepts, my ideas, my creative birthright be exploited, appropriated, copied and reproduced. And that was painful
(I know how you feel L!)

Ok and when I read about her definition of why she wants people to call her Ms Hill it started to make a lot of sense. It was counter all the “diva gone mad” rumors I have been hearing. She says:

I’ve always been wise beyond my years. I’ve always been a teacher. When I was a child, I was teaching adults, because I was always learning. I’m Ms. Hill because I know I’’m a wise woman. That is the respect I deserve.



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