▶ The eclec­tic event re­turns in Fe­bru­ary next year with a smat­ter­ing of hip-hop, pop, jazz and soul. Here’s what to ex­pect from the head­lin­ers

The National - News - - ARTS & LIFESTYLE -

Lau­ryn Hill

The first head­liner for next year’s Dubai Jazz Fes­ti­val was an­nounced as Haitian-Amer­i­can singer, song­writer and rap­per Lau­ryn Hill.

The singer was one of the head­lin­ers at Glas­ton­bury last year, but re­views weren’t favourable. Hope­fully, she’ll bring her A-game to Dubai. Her sem­i­nal de­but solo

al­bum The Mise­d­u­ca­tion of Lau­ryn Hill was re­leased 21 years ago. Hill’s best known songs re­main Doo Wop, Ex-Fac­tor and Ev­ery­thing is Ev­ery­thing.

Her first solo al­bum re­mains one of the most in­flu­en­tial hip-hop al­bums to have been re­leased to date, but Hill’s de­but didn’t her­ald the sud­den ar­rival of a new star. In­stead, the al­bum ful­filled the prom­ise she made dur­ing her time with The Fugees.

Along­side fel­low mem­bers Wy­clef Jean and Pras Michel, the trio were never re­ally com­fort­able with the hip-hop tag. Be­cause of their Caribbean mu­sic in­flu­ences,

The Fugees’ oeu­vre was a gumbo of styles, with soul and funk as key in­gre­di­ents.

With The Fugees break­ing up in 1997, their eclec­ti­cism can be felt in The Mise­d­u­ca­tion of Lau­ryn Hill, re­leased a year later – only this time, Hill was telling her own story.

Where The Fugees mostly sur­veyed the land from a macro level of so­cial jus­tice in songs such as Fu-Gee-La and Ready or Not, Hill’s solo work looked at the world from the per­sonal van­tage points of a woman, mother, wife and mem­ber of a dis­en­fran­chised mi­nor­ity – it was a “Wakanda” mo­ment for African-Amer­i­can women. Like the block­buster Black

Pan­ther, the power of The Mise­d­u­ca­tion of Lau­ryn Hill lay in its as­pi­ra­tional qual­i­ties. Un­like most of her peers, Hill wasn’t only keen to chron­i­cle life as she saw it. In­stead, she was more in­ter­ested in what we could make of it. Sup­port act: Bruno Ma­jor

The Bri­tish singer-song­writer toured with Sam Smith from March to May this year.


Lau­ryn Hill per­forms at Glas­ton­bury Fes­ti­val last June

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