Following the release of her critically acclaimed 1998 album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill in 1998 — which took home five Grammy Awards and led to a huge tour — the then 22-year-old left behind the fame and the industry and never released another studio album (her last full-length release was MTV Unplugged No. 2.0 from 2002)
For the latest episode of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums podcast, Ms. Hill granted a rare interview on the making of Miseducation as well as what happened after.
"The wild thing is no one from my label has ever called me and asked how can we help you make another album, EVER…EVER. Did I say ever? Ever! With The Miseducation, there was no precedent. I was, for the most part, free to explore, experiment and express. After The Miseducation, there were scores of tentacled obstructionists, politics, repressing agendas, unrealistic expectations, and saboteurs EVERYWHERE. People had included me in their own narratives of THEIR successes as it pertained to my album, and if this contradicted my experience, I was considered an enemy."
She went on to insinuate that life in the public eye wasn't always so easy either.
"There were definitely things I enjoyed about stardom, but there were definitely things I didn’t enjoy. I think most people appreciate being recognized and appreciated for their work and sacrifice. That, to me, is a given, but living a real life is essential for anyone trying to stay connected to reality and continue making things that truly affect people. This becomes increasingly harder to do in the “space” people try to place “stars” in.