IN RETROSPECT: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill – 20th Anniversary

It’s hard to believe that an album can turn 20, when it sounds as fresh as the day it was born.

On this day, 25th August 1998, Ms. Lauryn Hill released her debut and thus far only solo studio album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (Ruffhouse/Columbia Records).

Following her years with hip-hop group Fugees (also featuring Wyclef Jean and Pras Michel), Hill, born and raised in New Jersey, used every ounce of her creative intelligence to curate something that would not only go on to win Grammys, or receive acclaim from critics and peers alike, but would serve as an educative tool for (but not limited to) her people – hip-hop in its truest sense, and at its most important.

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Leaks, Covers & Mixtapes: A Brief Guide to JoJo’s Unofficial Releases

Fresh from touring in Japan and Okinawa with Armed Forces Entertainment, Joanna “JoJo” Levesque recently announced that she is ready to get back on the road for a new tour with a distinct twist. Hold on to your wigs…

Those well-accustomed to the R&B/pop singer’s journey will know that after crashing onto the scene at the age of 13 in 2004 with arguably her most popular song “Leave (Get Out)” and subsequently releasing two successful albums JoJo (2004) and The High Road (2006) on Blackground Records, Levesque hit what we shall now call a blip in the form of label troubles, which for seven years prevented her from releasing a third studio album. During that time, having tired relentlessly to put together several versions of a full LP with hopes of starting the next phase in her music career, she stayed proactive and released mixtapes to tide her loyal fans over, performed various covers… and unfortunately had a lot of the material that she was working on leaked.

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LIVE REVIEW: Julia Turner “Fifteen Times the Moon” Album Launch

Last Friday I attended an important gig for a good musician friend of mine. Jazz, blues singer-songwriter Julia Turner, whose new album Fifteen Times the Moon is set for release this year, hosted a pre-release album launch at the Bristol Folk House.

The show took place downstairs past the cafe in the medium-sized hall, which had a surprisingly really intimate feel. People sat in groups around tables or on a line of chairs off to the side of the stage. Lighting was dim (obviously, that would be pretty harsh to make people eat and drink in the dark now, wouldn’t it), which added to the cosiness – I felt as though I were in a living room. A big one, of course.

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