The Time I Met Lauryn Hill


I went to the Brooklyn Bowl at the O2 in London on Sunday (September 28) to see the one and only Lauryn Hill perform – obviously, I had heard people moaning about how it was sub par – the sound wasn’t right, she performed her songs in a weird manner – i.e not the way we hear it on the album – which made them unrecognizable… she was also late. However, I walked into the venue with none of that in mind – can I also just say that the venue is pretty awesome; I will definitely be getting my wave on and bowling there in the near future (picture me rollin’). 

I won’t delve into the whole experience in too much detail here – my thoughts on it are available via MTV – but what I will say is that she arrived on stage at 22.30 and came off stage past midnight before telling audience members to get the train home safely. This made me laugh, because we’re in England and I can assure you that the Jubilee line has retired for the night, love.


Back to the show. Lauryn looked gorgeous as she performed her classic hits which I managed to keep up with despite the change in melody, etc. Her vocals came to her effortlessly as she occasionally sat upon a humble stool with her guitar perched on her lap, and her rapping skills were pretty out-of-this-world – especially when you realize what we have become accustomed to circa now.


The most joyous part of the experience was the content and the energy. I love women in every capacity – but in this day and age, women who get to the top in music aren’t always the ones young people need. Jessie J‘s voice can blow you away, but ‘Bang Bang’ is not lyrically special – neither is her latest single with 2 Chainz.

Iggy Azalea most recently featured on a song called ‘Booty’ alongside Jennifer Lopez, and well, you know all about ‘Anaconda’.

That’s all well and good – empowerment is in the eye of the beholder – but songs with that kind of lyrical content don’t really provide (me with) much spiritual fulfillment. Lauryn’s show was a pure breath of fresh air and I gulped it down like an addict.

My mate Ra’ed and I were lucky enough to meet L Boogie after the show, who was shining with confidence and had a really chill vibe surrounding her. After introducing myself as Maz she asked for the longform version, which I told her (Maryam). ‘Arabic for Mary, right?’ she replied, and I kinda fell in love. She’s incredibly smart, and that is sexy.


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