“I Was There” Files: Lauryn Hill @ Wingate Park

Lauryn Hill

Wow. Lauryn Hill usually gets a bit of shade from me because I’ve heard all this foolery about her missing shows and being a general stank ass. But girlfriend TORE IT UP last night in the Crown Heights, that lovely, jank-ass repository of splaboohood. Girlfriend did it so dirty, I wrote a review of it in my white voice. Lookee:

Lauryn Hill, the ex-Fugee member who captivated fans with her acclaimed 1998 solo debut, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, rocked a massive crowd in Brooklyn’s Wingate Park on Monday night, quelling fears that her talent has fizzled over the past decade.

Hill’s introspective debut scored her five Grammys with fans still panting for more nearly ten years later. However, in recent years Hill’s performances have become infamous with reports of hours-long delays and erratic behavior plaguing her shows.

Playing for an audience of thousands, none of the singer’s purported troubles were apparent. Backed by an 11 – piece band, Hill roared through a 2 ½ hour set of kicky, high-octane reprises of her most well-worn hits. Looking funky in a retro fringe vest and a ruddy crested afro, Hill jumped into an ultra-syncopated revamp of “Lost Ones.” The set reflected the singer’s deference to reggae king Bob Marley as she nestled songs like “Natty Dread” and “Iron, Lion, Zion” into her own catalog.

Highlights included her languid, dreamy take on “Ex-Factor,” and a rock-inflected “Fu-Gee-La.” While Hill’s admirable energy was consistent, her raspy vocals often evaporated as she reached for challenging notes. Her latest song, “Lose Yourself,” with its dowdy lyrics and instrumentation, fell flat with the audience. Hill’s performance style is haphazard and intense but her artistry is clear. Amidst the clutter of ringtone rappers and vapid pop tarts, Hill’s return is a long awaited breath of fresh air.

That’s how deep it was. I had to bust out the SAT voice. I’ve also got crappy video to upload once I stop being a fatty and put down this chocolatey, gooey nectar of the gods that you humans call Twix bars.

But, here’s something I learned about the media: IT BLOWS!! Just agendas abounding. Peep this:

MTV calls it a “Bizarre” performance saying that Lauryn was two hours late and was scatting indecipherable gobledygook.


Ok, seriously, those are straight up lies. The concert was scheduled to begin at 7:30 but this was a 10,000 person free concert run by splaboos so it, like every other concert ever, did not start exactly at 7:30. When was the last time you went to a concert that started at the advertised time? Was it your gaytarded cousin’s recorder recital? Because otherwise, you’re a lying ho. But I digress.

The review does not note that she had an opening act; jank-ass, no stage-presence, lard dick, Sean Kingston. Sean arrived at the venue around 8:13 (a whole bunch of Crown Heights fools shooed me away from his SUV) and went on about 15 minutes later. He ended his set around 8:45. Lauryn went on at 9:45, an hour wait, which for a performer of her stature with a full band, including three drums sets, is going to take some time to set up. And that’s set-up after taking down Sean’ little DJ thing and going through some gaytarded Applebee’s promotion. MTV tries to make it sound like homegirl was in the back pickin’ her toenails and talking to her houseplants when she was supposed to go on at 7:30. She went on in a completely reasonable amount of time.

And yeah, she was scatting but it was like three times and it was during epic ad-libs towards the tail end of a few tracks. It wasn’t like we were all in the stands like, “sing Killing Me Softly!!!” and she was in the middle of stage wandering around like, “shoo-be-doo, doo-wop, doo-wop, doo-wop, doo-wop…blaDOW!!” She was in the throes of some serious dub mess and she’s married to a gotdamn Marley. She wanna scat a couple times, let her black ass scat!!

Also, lest we forget, Lauryn is now 32 with FOUR gotdamn kids and she did a two and half hour set in 80-degree muggy weather for a FREE concert. I’m sure she got some ka$h but ain’t nobody in the audience even drop her a spare nickel for her trouble and I’m serious, she damn near tired the audience out. I stayed till the very end, around 12:20 when after playing almost every single song she ever blessed, from “Zealots” to “How Many Mics” to “When It Hurts So Bad” to “Killing Me Softly” to “That Thing” to “Lose Yourself.” This is in addition to the range of covers from Bob Marley, The Shirrelles and other fools I never even heard of. And even her voice was cracking and she kinda looked like a cross-dressing Sly Stone, it was literally one of the best concerts ever. It was arguably better than Rock The Bells and RTB was Wu-Tang, Public Enemy, Felt, Cypress Hill and about ten other bands on two stages. Lauryn’s black ass by herself pretty much topped all of that.

Newsday’s review was pretty spot-on. It was Sean Kingston’s boloney-ass “performance” that was bizarre. Fool played seven songs, only two were his…AWK-WARD.


And if I may confide in you kids, my original review for a publication (you thought I used my college voice for you fools? How adorable…) probably won’t get printed because it’s simply not sensationalist enough. While that is hardly eye-opening, it is kinda depressing. Lauryn’s performance straight up drove me to tears twice. There is no one out performing who is in her league. No one else is mature enough to let go on stage and look a little crackity and re-work and rock the fuck outta songs that dropped ten years ago. I mean are you gonna give a shit about Cupid Shuffle in two months (you really shouldn’t care now, actually…) Do you really want to hear Beyonce sing “Bills, Bills, Bills”? Hell and no. But do you want hear Lauryn sing “Vocab,” “Fu-Gee-La,” “The Sweetest Thing,” “Everything Is Everything,” and “Ex-Factor” right now? In ten years? In twenty?

You probably do.


16 Responses to ““I Was There” Files: Lauryn Hill @ Wingate Park”

  1. MeToo Says:

    I concur
    lauryn tore it up. and if it only takes a few sped up/rocked out versions of a classic or two to separate the people living in the past from the people who understand artistry then it was worth it – cuz I got a better seat.
    that girl was preaching to me
    “I loved him too much, I stayed too long”
    “I took your word for it”
    I got it L

  2. connykate Says:

    Thank you!! I thought the show was rousing and it wasn’t her pretending to be her 23 year-old self. Yeah, she looked crackity but if she went up there and did that exact same show in a skirt and some hooker heels, half of these reviews would be all, “Oh Lauryn’s back and she’s better than before, etc.”

    I was in the front but when I looked back the place seemed pretty packed as there were people on the outside looking in and on the very edges of the park. I mean, she was looking funny, I will say that, but how is she supposed to be? She didn’t fall down, she didn’t not show up, she seemed genuinely happy to be there and I’m not one of those die-hard Lauryn forever fans but she restored my faith in her talent.

    Music is depressing.

  3. Lady Jace Says:

    Their have been so many people wishing on Lauryn hill’s down fall. Many saw her latest interview and thought that she was crazy even though everything that she said made perfect since. Many say she doesn’t perform well. If these people would check Lauryn last tour dates she performed exceptionally, just check out it on U tube ,all of her real fans know that she had a change up with the fashion a long time ago and I am used to seeing her this way. It adds to her image as being legendary. But I really want to thank u for giving MS. Hill the review that she deserves. U wouldn’t beleive that some people are slashing and throwing dirt on her for this performance. I wish that only the people that knew how to recognize talent could be the only ones to speak and or write. But thank u . U are blessed. Lauryn has a soul in her that is unmatched.

  4. Lady Jace Says:

    And Yes Lauryn I will still love you tomorrow

  5. connykate Says:

    I know, I thought that was cute! Will you love me tomorrow?

    I was one of those stone cold haters but she really did the damn thing. Most people are talking about her clothes and the fact that they couldn’t sing along. That’s what the album is for!

    You don’t want Lauryn doin the same damn thing for years at a time. Plus it wasn’t just image because her talent really shined through. Her voice was bullshit at times but she was theatrical – she fucking performed.

  6. The-XFacta Says:

    Conny will you marry me???

  7. seher Says:

    aghh i wish i was there. glad you enjoyed 🙂

  8. connykate Says:

    X, yes please, make me an honest woman!!! Lord knows I need it…

  9. The-XFacta Says:


    LOL… 1st time for everything!

  10. nation Says:

    Lauryn Hill is god to these young’ns

  11. Spoken Says:

    All of you must be smoking the same crack that Lauryn was. That concert was Horrible…wait let me say that again…HORIBBLE! I’ve never been so disapointed by an artist since Michael Jackson’s Last album. That that Michael’s Album was bad, it was just so many levels beneath the quality that Michael fans are accustomed to.

    It was the same thing with Lauryn Hill. It was a waste of time. Thousands and I mean thousands of fans came out to see Lauryn. I’m a frequent at the wingate concerts and I’ve never in all my years seen a crown at wingate like the one that showed up to see Lauryn Hill. It was like being aboard a slave ship in the 1500s. Wall to wall negro. No. I am not exaggerating…It was wall to wall negro. And I’m mad that no one has commented about the 80 percent of the audience that walked out after the third song.

    The first problem was the wait. It’s a free concert I will concede that fact. I didn’t expect much, but to wait 3 hourse before she sings a note…that’s ridiculous and insulting. Yeah, it’s a free concert, but I bought her album three times and I’m sure I’m not the only one. These people didn’t buy tickets but they have supported her career all the way and to be treated like that is disrespectful. The opening act was garbage singing songs like “Welcome to Jamrock” and “Hova” and a couple of other songs that wasn’t even his. My friend is right Lauryn’s segment started at 9:45, but that was the band and they played for almost an hour before she appeared on the stage in her hot leather cowboy jacket (in the summer?).

    The worst part of the concert was how she ruined everyone’s expectations. Let me be real. It’s a concert…adlibs I expect…Remixes I expect…she change everything about the songs people came to hear except for the lyrics but you couldn’t even tell what she was singing because she was singing so fast, and I mean fast. Imagine Bone thugs singing I will always love you…yeah not a pretty picture. The reason the massive music community goes to a concert is to hear what they love hearing, the songs that invoke emotion and bring back fond memories…if you wanna do a remix or improv THAT IS WHAT THE ALBUM IS FOR! People go to concerts to sing along. In fact most of the concerts I have been to the artist doesn’t do most of the singing, the audience does. They just let the music plan and allow the audience to be raptured by the songs they have come to love.

    Let me make this clear…I’m not mad at Lauryn I thnk she is a very talented artist…I’m not mad at the new music and the remixes…I’m mad that me and 5000 other fans had to wait in a hot sweat park on our feet for more than three hours just to hear a bunch of stuff we didn’t come for. That’s why we walked out. Lauryn Hill will never be as big as she used to be because her music is about her and the people she’s trying to sell it to. That was the greatness of Miseducation…it spoke to everybody.

  12. connykate Says:

    The album is for listening along to the songs. And it’s not 1998. Homegirl is not in Sister Act 2, she has four kids and four Grammys. She’s 32, not 22. She doesn’t have to kowtow and do the same shit she was doing four years ago. Should she be wearing glitter jeans and talking about hot new devices like the flip phone?

    It seems like her fans are all sooooo stuck in loving Lauryn in 1998 but the point was whatever you think of her now, she tried so hard at that concert. She wasn’t on some dopey Britney shit. She ROCKED it for two hours which people don’t even seem to care about. And what is this, she was so late bullshit. It’s a free concert!! She had an 11 piece band including two drum kits!! She had an opening act who was an hour late!! It’s not that serious.

    If you love Lauryn that much…let her grow.

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  14. Amani Says:

    Then I guess I’m a ” lyin’ ‘ho”, like you said. lol @ the bashing of different opinions.
    It was terrible. I did not stand up for ours for that performance to sound that horrible. Singing the same phrase over and over again =/= singing a past hit. I tried to stay as long as possible but no, it was absolutely ridiculous.

    “Let me make this clear…I’m not mad at Lauryn I thnk she is a very talented artist…I’m not mad at the new music and the remixes…I’m mad that me and 5000 other fans had to wait in a hot sweat park on our feet for more than three hours just to hear a bunch of stuff we didn’t come for. That’s why we walked out. Lauryn Hill will never be as big as she used to be because her music is about her and the people she’s trying to sell it to. That was the greatness of Miseducation…it spoke to everybody.”


    And yes, I have went to shows that started ON time.

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    […]“I Was There” Files: Lauryn Hill @ Wingate Park « Conny Kate[…]…

  16. An enjoyable read. I actually have some thoughts about this. Have you thought about allowing guest articles on your blog? Says:

    An enjoyable read. I actually have some thoughts about this. Have you thought about allowing guest articles on your blog?…

    […]“I Was There” Files: Lauryn Hill @ Wingate Park « Conny Kate[…]…

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