Retrospective: Lauryn Hill's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill vs Erykah Badu's Baduizm

I know. Tough comparison, right? Two undisputed classics here, from two of the most impactful women to come along. Today, we sit and talk about which album is better and discuss the power of both.

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

1. Intro
2. Lost Ones
3. Ex-Factor
4. To Zion
5. Doo Wop(That Thing)
6. Superstar
7. Final Hour
8. When It Hurts So Bad
9. I Used To Love Him
10. Forgive Them Father
11. Every Ghetto, Every City
12. Nothing Even Matters
13. Everything Is Everything
14. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
15. Can't Take My Eyes Off You(Bonus Track)



1. Rimshot(Intro)
2. On and On
3. Appletree
4. Otherside of The Game
5. Sometimes(Mix #9)
6. Next Lifetime
7. Afro (Freestyle Skit)
8. Certainly
9. 4 Leaf Clover
10. No Love
11. Drama
12. Sometimes
13. Certainly(Flipped It)
14. Rimshot(Outro)

Here we have probably two of the strongest vocal abilities on wax and arguably two of the best R&B/Soul CD's. Both Baduizm and The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill are fantastic, but when comparing the two, I would have to say "Miseducation..." takes it.

They are different, Badu has a very soulful jazzy feel to her tracks and lyrics, whereas Lauryn Hill is more Hip Hop, but what does it for me is lyrical content. I connect with Lauryn Hill on some tracks ("Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You" is the ultimate crush song), I feel her pain and frustration in "Ex-Factor" and I feel beyond happy for her new baby in "To Zion". The point is on this CD, Hill lets her guards down and shares her emotions and experiences and pain. There's a connection that her listeners have with her and although Erykah Badu also shares moments, it is not as raw. Badu has what seems like a more blasé attitude towards her lyrics, whereas Hill seems like she's pouring out her heart and soul.

On top of the vocals, Hill also graces us with her rapping abilities,  so we get variation from track to track. Lauryn Hill successfully engages the listener by combining the greatest genres of music: Hip Hop and R&B. When looking at the track list as a whole, "The Miseducation…" has 15 tracks, 8 of which are SOLID classics that will forever remain on the all time greatest lists everywhere. Baduizm has 14 tracks and to me only 4 are solid. It was a no brainer. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill set a standard that is unmatched.

Baduizm was good, but Lauryn Hill's Miseducation was a classic with legendary content. Her ode to her son "Zion" was not only a heartwarming melody from mother to child, but a call to action for an emerging nation. Also, "Lost Ones" was a great track that showed her vulnerability and showed her range as a singer. Sorry Ms. Badu, love you, but Lauryn had the better album here.

It really all boils down to what you prefer and while vocally I think Lauryn is more solid, I gravitate to Badu's jazzy style and lyricism more. I like them both because they're my 2 favorite signs. Pisces and Gemini. However, Baduizm is one of my favorite albums. Badu can do no wrong and when comparing the two, I have to go with Baduizm. The sound was more ground breaking and helped to solidify neo-soul even more, with an amazing influence. Lauryn's was more personal and great music, but Badu seemed to help usher in a different sound with Baduizm.

It's almost unfair for me to compare Baduizm and The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill because the latter is my favorite album of all time. Quality wise, the two are even to me. I can't say that either is lacking in any technical sense. Still, The Miseducation wins every time.

I remember Baduizm was released the day before my 9th birthday and I was sure I knew what love was thanks to Lisa Frank doodle pads and "Next Lifetime". As an adult, I appreciate Baduizm more than I ever knew I could. Erykah Badu is one of my all time favorite artists, yet Baduizm is not my favorite Badu album. While I loved it then, it had to grow on me as an entire project and I honestly still don't listen to it from beginning to end like I often do with The Miseducation.

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill in its entirety has been a staple in my life since I was 10 years old. Every second of the album has stuck with me and grown in importance since then. I can't pick a single track that makes The Miseducation preferable of the two, but just everything about it. Lauryn Hill encompasses singing, rapping and song writing so perfectly and I still haven't gotten over it.

Maybe I had to grow up to appreciate Baduizm, while The Miseducation grew with me. It helped me grow. It taught me about love and hurt in ways I thought I understood when I was 10 and in ways I've grown to understand and am still working on understanding, 17 years later. Baduizm is an amazing album, no questions. But The Miseducation for me is like an informational text that I keep revisiting year after year.

This is a bit tough for me. Baduizm isn't my favorite Badu album (Mama's Gun is), but I would slightly edge it here over Lauryn's album. I love Lauryn's album, and I can still play songs from both today. I think both are classics, but what puts Baduizm ahead by just a small margin is the jazzy production. I enjoy Miseducation's production, but some of it starts to sound a bit dated. That's not a knock on the album at all. I just lean towards the instrumentation and jazzy feel of Baduizm.

Miseducation has some classics in "Ex-Factor", "To Zion", "Nothing Even Matters", and a few others, and is definitely the more personal of the two albums. Lauryn let us into her world, her mind and her life. The album is undoubtedly a classic. Baduizm however also features some of my all time favorite songs like "On and On", "Otherside Of The Game", "Next Lifetime", "Certainly", and more as well. This all comes down to personal preference and while both albums are damn near equal, I would lean slightly towards Baduizm.

What about you, readers? Miseducation of Lauryn Hill or Baduizm?



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