Before the global triumph of the Fugees’ The Score catapulted her to stardom; the omnipresent acclaim that followed her landmark solo effort Miseducation; the increasingly bizarre public behavior and train wreck concert performances, Lauryn was just a wide-eyed, up-and-coming MC from South Orange, New Jersey. The enigmatic artist, who once brazenly demanded $10,000 to be interviewed for a cover story, would do well to reach back to her more grounded mid-‘90s B-girl roots. MTV’s Shaheem Reid recalls being in awe of the gifted yet gracious Lauryn Hill back when the Fugees played a gig near his school Norfolk State University in 1996.
“The Fugees came to town with the Goodie Mob and De La Soul, which was an insane lineup,” Reid recalls of the memorable show. “But it was Lauryn who really stood out. We’re talking about someone who was a lyrical monster dropping lines like, ‘I add a muthafucka so you ignorant niggas hear me…’ She was taking out both female and male MCs. But it was after the show that gave me a better appreciation of Lauryn. She came outside and all the fans were surrounding her. Security, Wyclef and everybody in the Fugees camp was like, ‘Come on, we have to go.’ But Lauryn was just so real with it. She stayed out there and kicked it with the fans for a good 30 minutes! You really don’t see that from a lot of celebrities. She connected with everyone on a personal level. It would be great to to see Lauryn get back to that.”