Lauryn Hill shows up in the darnedest places these days.
Out of absolutely nowhere, Ms. Hill appeared on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, and performed not once but twice with her current touring band. Decked out in a flowing and (very) colorful outfit, Lauryn performed two exquisite covers Bob Marley’s “Could You Be Loved” and “Chances Are.” You can view those performances here and here.
Hill’s performance comes amid a period of increased and decidedly positive visibility for the legendary Hip Hop-Soul Queen. A brief tour late last year turned out to be a disaster; Hill was chronically and absurdly late to almost every gig, and the arrangements for most of her legendary songs were often completely different from the originals (and not good), upsetting many in the crowd. At a show in New York City, Hill’s show didn’t start until after midnight. Prince was in attendance, but left before the show had even started. Fans in the front row made makeshift signs that read “You Just Lost One” and “This Is Insulting.” There was a ton of booing, and the reviews were atrocious.
Lately though, Hill seems to have dropped the adversarial, belligerent attitude towards her audience, putting on a string of (relatively) punctual and polished performances at Coachella and the New Orleans Jazz Festival. And her current tour has actually been well received for once.
It’s probably too early to call it a comeback, since Ms. Hill still doesn’t seem all that interested in making one. But whatever. These are great performances, and things in the world of Lauryn Hill are finally starting to look promising again.
I’m almost willing to start crossing my fingers for a lil’ new music from L-Boogie sometime this decade.