We all love Lauryn Hill. Her work in the 90’s were classics. As a member of The Fugees, her work on “The Score” shot her into stardom. Her solo album “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” was considered one of the strongest albums of the decade by SPIN and Rolling Stone.
Yesterday AfroPunk announced that Hill would be the headliner for their NYC festival. Normally, festivals are a once in a lifetime opportunity for fans to catch their favorite new or old artist meshed in with cool acts they normally wouldn’t tour with. The catch (for many festivals, or concerts, unless it’s a reunion event) is to rollout acts delivering new music. AfroPunk has gone against the grain and let loose Hill. It has been 17 years since we have seen a full length of original work from Hill.
I love hearing my favorite artists performing classic cuts that will never leave my playlist. With that being said, I feel there is a time and a place for everything and a festival is not the space for an artist who isn’t releasing current music to headline. Often these platforms are used to break rising stars into the mainstream. The placement of Hill as a headliner could potentially marginalize young rising acts. The move also hurts grizzled vets who are still churning out music who deserve the look (like D’Angelo in 2014).
After the announcement of Hill as the headliner of AfroPunk, the question must be posed: Is this a cash grab by both parties?