Uptown Bourgeois is an arts, news, and culture blog created by New York-based freelance writer Jefferey Spivey. UB explores universal themes through a black, queer lens. 

Lauryn Hill’s Legacy Dragged Through The Mud Over Late Concert Arrival

Lauryn Hill’s Legacy Dragged Through The Mud Over Late Concert Arrival

Should one mistake cost you your legacy? If Black Twitter has anything to say about it, the answer is yes.  If you’ve logged onto Twitter at any point in the last 12 hours, you’ve undoubtedly noticed that Lauryn Hill was the number one trending topic.  And no, she is not hospitalized or dead as many Twitter users initially assumed.

Consistent with her late-career behavior, Ms. Lauryn Hill arrived approximately two and a half hours late for her concert at Atlanta’s Chastain Park Amphitheatre.  When she took the stage at 10:20 p.m., concertgoers had been anxiously awaiting her performance since well before 8 p.m.  To make matters worse, her mics were cut after 40 minutes due to the Amphitheatre’s strict closing time. 

As you can surely guess, those in attendance were not happy.  And rightfully so.  If you pay to see a performance at 8 p.m., you should be able to see a show at 8 p.m.  But to wait over two hours for that show and only get to see a fraction of it? That’s major refund territory.  And in true Twitter fashion, fingers were ablaze with absolutely no chill.

But the part of all the dragging that started to get troublesome was the mention of her achievements.  Person after person commented how she was overrated, and how her work hasn’t stood the test of time.  It was heartbreaking to see this.  I love a good ratchet jam like the next person, but you can’t tell me that “Panda” is going to be praised as one of the best songs of the 21st century.  We probably won’t even be talking about Desiigner after the next year is over.  But Ms. Lauryn Hill? She has a legacy.

Lest we forget, The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill won her 5 Grammys and sold over 8 million copies in the US alone.  The album is highly regarded as one of the best of the last 30 years.  Its impeccable lyricism, instrumentation, and message are timeless.  The record was an awe-inspiring achievement.

Sure, her catalog has been sparse and of questionable quality since then.  Her MTV Unplugged album was the last full-length offering we’ve received other than a few unlistenable singles she recorded as part of her new deal with Sony.  That deal was widely reported as a way for Hill to pay off tax evasion fines.

But just because an artist fails to live up to the greatness of their finest achievement doesn’t mean that achievement doesn’t shine as bright.  Good music is good music.  And it’s unfair that disgruntled concertgoers find it appropriate to shame one of the greatest artists of our time because she showed up late.  Yes, I would be aggravated too.  But my momentary disappointment doesn’t change how magical The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill was.

In this digital age, taste and allegiance are fleeting.  Twitter can often serve as the judgmental high school of our nightmares.  There are plenty of other artists who are hardly ever punctual to their concerts yet fans continue to pay top dollar to see them.  I’m not sure why this particular occurrence was so grave that it warranted a brutal Twitter roast.  Let’s hope people can get past this and get back to respecting The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill for the masterpiece that it is.

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