Lauryn Hill was already in contention for the crown long before winning five Grammys for her debut, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. As one-third of the Fugees, L' Boogie quickly established herself as the most talented artist of the crew. By seamlessly blending jaw-dropping lyricism with social commentary, Hill helped make The Score the centerpiece of the Fugees' catalog and, more significantly, an undeniable hip-hop classic.
On her own Miseducation..., though, Lauryn delivered the best fusion of hip-hop and R&B hip-hop has witnessed in a long time. Her brilliant writing flourished from song to song, whether grappling with spirituality ("Final Hour," "Forgive Them, Father") or stroking sexuality without exploiting it ("Nothing Even Matters").