THE GREATEST OF ALL TUNES (G.O.A.T.) is a series of posts, producing my 100 favorite songs of all time. The master list is here, and I update it about every two weeks or when I have another 10 songs or so.
Lauryn Hill didn’t event soul/rap, but she perfected it. Before her, there had been soul singers who had rap breaks, and rappers who had soul hooks, but Hill merged the two seamlessly first in her groundbreaking work with The Fugees and then on one of the best hip hop albums of all time, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. The debut had many, many hits and it’s one of those rare albums where you can’t skip a single track, even the multiple “hidden” cuts at the end. Doo Wop (That Thing) was the premier single, and while some may say it didn’t have the depth of some of the other tracks on the album, it represents an ingenious way of turning frivolous, sexist pop on its head. The song debuted at #1 in 1999 and won two Grammies.
Before this song, Hill was known as a sideplayer for Wyclef Jean’s Fugees and had a minor solo hit with Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.” Doo Wop established her as the best solo singer of her time…And then she promptly disappeared.