Tomorrow night’s a night that should be fascinating. We got pretty excited when Nas and Lauryn Hill announced a tag-team night at the Electric Factory last month. Naturally, it was with a tiny lil’ scoche of suspiciousness. Ms. Hill doesn’t have the best reputation these days: lateness, crazy talk, erratic performances, etc. It’s not really true for Nas mostly because he doesn’t have a track record of crazy. But together, they gave us “If I Ruled The World.”
And remember how Lauryn Hill, once upon a time, was a bright-burning talent back in the day? She made Sister Act 2: Back In The Habit one of the best damn heartwarming-nun-based-urban-music-success-story sleeper of the ’90s. Watching her sing “His Eye Is On The Sparrow” is a moment that makes us so confused: she’s friggen’ bursting with talent and looks so earnestly modest, versatile and gifted. And yet. What happened to her? That Unplugged record? Eesh. Even seeing her sing live now, it’s a little bit of a mind-eff. You want to bow before the queen of the Fugees (Fact: The Score is flawless, actually, so’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill) and worship at the shrine of SA2, but then she doesn’t even sing songs the way she wrote them. Seems like it happens more than we’d care to admit: singers who’ve been singing the same catalogue for years and sing all around the lyrics with ooohs and ahhhs, weird note-runs and lots of, ya know, ‘feeling it.’ Let’s hope that doesn’t happen tomorrow night.
If we get taken back to the ’90s tomorrow it’ll be like a gift from the days of MTV-playing-music-videos all day. Get a ticket, pronto.