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From the YouTube Music Video Archives: Doo-Wop (That Thing) by Lauryn Hill

The most abstract idea conceivable is the sensuous in its elemental originality. But through which medium can it be presented? Only through music. Kierkegaard, Either/Or

Because nothing … nothing says the sensuous in its elemental originality like Lauryn Hill singing that thing, that thing, tha at thi i i ing … although there’s nothing especially abstract about that yellow dress. Or the black and white dress, for that matter, or the moves, or the horns that kick the song off, or the rap that just crushes everything other than maybe one of Ice Cube’s (I especially love it when she patters Showing off your ass ’cause you’re thinking it’s a trend, as if calling out Miley Cyrus and all the coprophagists who’ve actually turned it into a trend) …

Where was I? Right … Lauryn Hill. I heard three different songs of hers on the radio last week, which was enough to give me hope that she was going to be putting out a new album. Very sadly, that is not the case. But I dug out the old Fugees albums and Miseducation and have been listening to them all week.

For Korrektiv readers who may not know Lauryn Hill so well, this brief history in the form of music videos are worth your while. Here she is in 1987, thirteen years old, getting booed during Amateur Night at the Apollo. Here she is a few years after that singing His Eye is on the Sparrow in Sister Act 2. While in high school she joined up with Pras and Wycleff Jean and started going by “L Boogie” in the Fugees … here they are murdering the same Apollo Theater, and here they are on Jools Holland doing Killing Me Softly.

Then came the deluge of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, including Ex-Factor, Everything is Everything, Zion, and even an old Frankie Valli song … just scratching the surface of the album with these …

Four years after Miseducation she did a complete 180° with a double album of new songs live on an MTV Unplugged special. Not everybody liked it, some people hated it, but there are some great songs, including Adam Lives in Theory, which, even if you can’t bring yourself to appreciate the song, you’ve got to admit is one of the best titles ever.

After that she didn’t come out much new material, except an odd song here or there for a soundtrack or such like. The Man busted her for taxes a few years ago, and if the youtube videos are an accurate indication she’s been hitting the concert circuit pretty hard recently. Here she is in 2012, backed up by The Roots and blowing the roof off Philadelphia. But if you have to watch just one Lauryn Hill video, Live in Japan 1999 is it.

Comments

  1. Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says:

    This comment is here to indicate I have read, am interested, but have nothing original to contribute.

    This comment applies to approximately 90% of the posts Mr Finnegan has lollyblogged during his bronchitic convalescence.

  2. Quin Finnegan says:

    Thanks for reading, ANEOP … I thought you were one Korrektiv reader who actually would have something original to contribute to this post. Being an Ice Cube fan and all.

  3. Quin Finnegan says:
  4. Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says:

    On third viewing, I’m wondering who’s the iller: Mr Finnegan, with his chronic bronchitis, or Ms Hill, with that sick flow. She makes it seem so effortless — but, as we know, ‘Hardly-at-all is where art begins’.

    (The video for ‘Doo-Wop (That Thing)’, incidentally, recalls, in its same-space/different-time concept, the best of Richard McGuire.)

    Thanks, Quin. Whatever the degree of your illness relative to Lauryn Hill’s, you are plenty sick indeed.

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