I love a good concert and last night my life came full circle as I got to experience Ms. Lauryn Hill. You see, the first concert I ever went to was back in the day when The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill first dropped. My brother was kind enough to take me to see her and Outkast. When Miseducation came out in August 1998 it was hot and I was ready for high school and in love with the boy who sat beside me in home room. When he made me mad or confused me, I listened to “That Thing,” after we’d talk on the phone (basically just holding it, because for real, we’d just seen each other at school) for an hour, I’d listen to “Nothing Even Matters,” and when I thought of the transition to high school I listened to “Everything is Everything,” on repeat.
Ms. Hill’s first, and only, solo album personified first love, made girls feel like young women, and took you from middle to high school easily. This woman obviously knew what she was talking about. Okay, but then what? After you can’t take your eyes off of him and tell him, then what?
Well, then you go for a long walk. Two summers after Lauryn Hill, Jill Scott came along to get me through high school.
He was there, I was pleased, I really dug his company.
Jill Scott took my middle school crush and turned it into a love like Nelson County High School had never known. (Yes, I’m laughing as I write this) It was like Lauryn’s sister girl from around the way was guiding me into womanhood, and what guidance it was! When some other little girl tried messing with my boo, I listened to “Gettin in the Way,” when I had to turn down friends and parties to be with him I listened to “The Way,” when I went to visit my brother in North Carolina and he couldn’t bear being away from me some of the summer and called long distance, I listened to “He Loves Me.” By the time high school ended, I was listening to “Love Rain” on repeat, but that was okay, because Jill and Lauryn had gotten me through my first love. And I lived to tell the story.
Unlike Lauryn, Jill has released three other CDs, none of which invokes the same feeling of the first. But then again, you can’t get that feeling back. First love is first love. The feeling of first love is the feeling of first love. And since you can’t get that back and forever love seems so far away, you’re destined to to be right now reciting Jill Scott’s “Womanifesto.” For myself and many of my mid-80’s girl babies that’s the present.
Nevertheless, it was oh so good to reminisce for a night …