5. Get Kanye West On The Phone

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kmurphy / July 19, 2010

He’s a self-proclaimed international asshole. But rapper, producer Kanye West is also a skillful musical visionary who could bring the best out of Lauryn. And of course it doesn’t hurt that he cleverly flipped an interpolation of Hill’s heartfelt “Mystery of Iniquity” for his 2004 hit “All Falls Down,” taken from her MTV Unplugged performance. Although the intriguing pair linked up in 2005 to collaborate on two songs for her long-in-the-making studio follow-up to Miseducation, the tracks have never seen the light of day. Since then, West has gone on to become one of music’s most interesting commercial talents. “He’s so versatile, but there’s a real soulfulness that comes out in his music, which is the same way I think of Lauryn,” Reid adds. “When you hear Kanye’s production, especially the stuff he did on Jay-Z’s The Blueprint and his debut album College Dropout, it’s evident that he’s the master of bringing that emotion out on the track and getting an artist to deliver.”

NPR’s Zoe Chace, who recently scored a rare interview with the reclusive Hill, says the singer should also recruit an old peer for some studio time. “I’m open to Questlove [producing] Lauryn,” Chace says of the Roots’ leader and drummer who has helmed albums for everyone from conscious hip-hop crusader Common (Electric Circus) to soul legend Al Green (Lay It Down). “She has such a huge presence in our mind that we all have [different scenarios] we would like to see her in. But the thing with Lauryn is she understands the responsibility of having a voice that moved so many people. She told me that she takes that responsibility seriously, but she added that she has to take care of herself first. That’s very admirable.”