Lauryn Noelle Hill is an American songwriter, rapper, singer and producer. She is also an actress. She was born on may 26, 1975 in East Orange, New Jersey. She is well known for being part of the music group “Fugees” as well as her acclaimed solo album “The miseducation of Lauryn Hill”. She’s been active in her career from 1989 to the present. The genres she mains consist of mainly R&B and Soul, with other genres consisting of neo soul, hip hop, folk and reggae. Aside from the Fugees she has collaborated with Nas on some tracks such as “If I ruled the world” She mainly performs vocals; however she can be seen performing on a guitar. She is currently signed to Columbia and Ruffhouse records.
Early life and beginnings
Her mother was Valerie Hill who was a teacher, and her father was Mal Hill, who was a computer management consultant. She was raised Baptist and her family relocated between New York and New Jersey. Because of her middle-class upbringing, she commonly associated with Jewish families, with Zach Braff being part of one of those families. Hills upbringing was surrounded by music. She has stated that music would fill her childhood as her parents would play piano and sing.
Her father was a talented singer where he would even perform at social events. Hill would curate her own set of artists she would grow to be inspired by. Some of those artists were Curtis Mayfield, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder, and even Marvin Gaye. She stated that she “recalled playing Marvin Gaye's What's Going On repeatedly until she fell asleep to it.” Her passion for signing had led her to performing the star-spangled banner before a basketball game in middle school. Her rendition was so successful and well liked, they used her version in future games. Her momentum has led her to singing at the show “It’s showtime at the Apollo”. Unfortunately for her, she received criticisms from the crowd for her seemingly poor performance.
In school she was a Grade A student and ran track as an extracurricular activity. She also attended school with Zach Braff. Her passion for music led her to taking violin classes, founding a choir group, and attending dance classes. Her performance in school was well above average as she strived to be the best at everything and anything she attempted. As a first-year student, Hill came into contact with Prakazrel "Pras" Michel, as he approached her about creating a group. Hill agreed, and the two created a group called the Tranzlator Crew, with the name relating to their style of signing in different languages. Later on, Wyclef Jean would join the group, and the three would be seen performing in talent shows and in their local town.
Her origins of rapping occurred during this time, as she would mix her performances with a blend of rap and singing. She’s acquired inspiration from female rappers as well as Ice Cube, who’s flow helped create Hills own style of flow. Before even graduating high school, she began attending classes for acting. She began acting in 1991 where she would appear in unsuccessful Broadway musicals. Regardless of the lack of success, she was spotted by an agent who helped her land roles in bigger titles such as soap operas and movies like Sister Act 2. She improvised a rap scene and performed other songs which caught the attention of critics and raved about how her talent was being wasted in such a terrible movie.