The Miseducation Of Lauryn HillIt’s been a colossal 26 years since the release of Lauryn Hill’s astonishing debut studio album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Here are five li’l thi-i-i-ings which may correct your own miseducation about this seminal record.

1. The title references both Dr. Carter G. Woodson’s The Mis-Education of the Negro – a 1933 work which posited that young African-Americans were being culturally conditioned at school, making them feel inferior and believing themselves worthy only of subservient, dependent positions in society – and The Education of Sonny Carson, the 1974 best-selling autobiography of revered war veteran and civil rights activist Sonny Carson.

2. Hill was pregnant with her first child – the father of whom is Rohan Marley, son of Bob – as she wrote the album. She has said: “When some women are pregnant, their hair and their nails grow. For me, it was my mind, and ability to create.”

The baby, named Zion David, was born in 1997 – and the album’s final track is dedicated to him.

3. Columbia Records suggested Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA to produce the record, which Hill declined. Hill’s Fugees bandmate Wyclef Jean – who initially didn’t want Hill to record a solo album at all – also eventually offered his services as producer, which Hill also declined. “Hey, it’s my album,” she reportedly said. “Who can tell my story better than me?”

4. The music video for the song’s first and biggest single, Doo Wop (That Thing), paid homage to the roots of the neo-soul movement. Filmed in Washington Heights in Manhattan, its split screen depicts two block parties; the left sees Hill and party attendees in the bright ‘60s get-ups popular at the height of doo-wop/rhythm and blues, and the right presents the scene in hip hop-centric 1998 (at the time, present-day).

5. The album debuted at #1 in America and smashed the record for first-week sales by a female artist. It earned 10 Grammy nominations (making Hill the first woman to received so many in one year) and won five awards at the 1999 ceremony. Meanwhile, Doo Wop (That Thing) was the first song since 1989 (Debbie Gibson’s Lost in Your Eyes) to hit #1 on the US charts that was written, produced and recorded solely by one woman.

Discover The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill at JB Hi-Fi.