MUSIC 2021

India Shawn Admires Lauryn Hill’s Miseducation

"I slept with 'Miseducation' playing in my Sony Walkman CD player most nights."


R&B star India Shawn told us about her admiration for Hill’s classic.

India Shawn: The question of my all-time favorite album will never not be the hardest to answer, but if the litmus is the most scratches accumulated on the back of a CD,  my answer is The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Lauryn taught me! Lyrics – Melody – Production – Vocal Styling – FEEL 101.

I slept with the Miseducation playing in my Sony Walkman CD player most nights. Why was I 9 years old crying myself to sleep to “When It Hurts So Bad?” and why did I have “Tell Him” in constant rotation? Who was I telling? Lauryn had me in my feelings. Even as a young babe, the vibes were resonant. They still are! That’s what’s so special about The Miseducation — in an almost prophetic way, the songs reveal something new in every phase of my evolution as a woman and artist.

Surely “Doo Wop (That Thing)” means so much more now than it did at 9. “Superstar” has been my mood for a decade now *side eyes the industry*! “Lost Ones” is my anthem after every breakup. “To Zion” I could write a thesis on — it gets deep for me. “I Used to Love Him”, a perfect queen collab. “Forgive Them Father,”, please forgive them for any Lauryn slander. “Nothing Even Matters” because this song exists; Lauryn AND D’Angelo?! “Every Ghetto Every City,” it’s the storytelling for me. “Everything is Everything”  — the blueprint, perfect combination of conscious and cool.

Why did it take me 20 years to realize “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” was a remake? – Because Lauryn made it hers.  Ex Factor. — (period) The title track, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” speaks so deeply to me and for me “.. but deep in my heart, the answer – it was in me, and I’ve made up my mind to define my own destiny”.

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is so smart, so prolific; it’s soulful, real & raw, spiritual & philosophical, righteous but not judgy, vintage but fresh (still!) It’s a timeless treasure. I hope to reach this level of musical brilliance in my career. I’m still taking notes, Ms. Lauryn Hill!   ❖

India Shawn Admires Lauryn Hill’s Miseducation. The single “Too Sweet” is out now.