Joanne’s Picks

This page is just for fun and ever-changing (with the exception of the late Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin who has been archived here). I’m Antiguan and Barbudan writer Joanne C. Hillhouse. I like books (and you might like mine), I like music, I like movies, I like TV. So, I’m just sharing some of what I like. Keep checking back as I’m always keeping things fresh.

I had a conversation with someone recently in which I asserted that if L-Boogie is not a part of your Top 5 conversation then what are we even talking about and in which they challenged my assertion with a reminder that Lauryn Hill does not have a deep enough catalogue to merit that assertion. In response to which I hand waved them with a reminder that her thin catalogue has more heft than the entire discography of more than 99% of these dudes and dudettes out here – there might have been some Nicki Minaj AND Cardi B shade in there. When I go for Ms. Hill, I go hard. Hateration will not be tolerated. So *rings bell* school call in for any one inclined to question Ms. Lauryn Hill’s bonafides as a Top 5 emcee. Yep! She is also a premiere vocalist but I’m focusing on her rapping (and lyrical) skills in this post.

Like this live remix of a Drake remix (Nice for What) of a song (Ex Factor) from The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, ladies and gentlemen, the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.

“See, this is Ex Factor/he took the sample/My shit is classic/Here’s an example…”

Sigh. Remember watching this like it was Christmas morning…just before you open a present (or so I hear lol). Did somebody say another Fugees album?!!! Then came the reminder…there is no Santa Claus.

“while you imitate Al Capone/I’ll be Nina Simone and defecating on your microphone”

This was one I played for one of my young ones the other day as we went back and forth with him trying to entice me over to mumble rap and me dropping…well, this

“Wisdom is better than silver and gold/I was hopeless now I’m on Hope Road”

Ms. Hill showing us that she might not have dropped new material in a minute *cough 20 years* but she still brings that fire

“the pretty face men/claim that they’re the big men/need to take care of their three and four kids men”

A triumphant return to the Apollo for Ms. Hill…

“If you’re misogynist/then you probably cannot get with this”

Just before they blew up…

“I be your female on the microphone kicking mathematics”

Okay, this one has a lot of singing on it and suffers from being over played but she also drops bars and it has to be included

“you can’t match this/rapper slash actress
more powerful than two cleopatras”

Never let it be said that Ms. Hill doesn’t have down the bravado of your average emcee

“I play my enemies like a game of chess”

ETA I didn’t include this one initially because it has been so overplayed but I was listening to it the other day and remembered why.

“And every chorus is written for us to recite/every beautiful melody of devotion every night”

ETA I couldn’t find a performance or video for this one which is the ONLY reason it was omitted.

“Even when they coming gunning/I stay in position”

Lauryn also dropped some rhymes on Clef’s The Carnival CD. Her storytelling on Guantanamera, for instance, was one of my favourite parts of the song – second only to the Celia Cruz cameo.

“This gentle flower, fertility was her power
Sweet persona, Venus Flytrap primadonna
Que sera que sera she turned dinero to dinera”

Still got doubts? Let me just leave this right here: