Lauryn Hill made a special appearance at this year’s “Rock The Bells” concert in New York recently (8/29). Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Swizz Beatz, Chris Rock, Alicia Keys, Bokeem Woodbine, Mary J. Blige, Michael Ealy, John Legend, Tracy Morgan and Estelle were all in the audience for a long awaited homecoming.
Hill says she is close to releasing her first new album in twelve years. She told The Guardian newspaper that, “it’s time.” The 35-year-old recently played this summer’s ‘Rock the Bells’ festival tour, performing songs from her debut solo album’The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’, as well as a number of Fugees tracks. “I have to upgrade [songs] a bit so that they’re still exciting, fresh and new”, Hill told MTV News, before adding, “I’m not sure if the audience really understands. We need, or at least I need, a certain amount of spontaneity, a certain amount of improvisation at every show … It’s that unknown, that literal X factor that makes every show different, and something I want to continue to do.”
Before her recent run of shows, Hill rarely made any live appearances since THE FUGEES played a reunion show in Hollywood in 2006. The band became internationally acclaimed after releasing their hit album The Score in 1996, which went six-times platinum in the US, selling over 18-million copies worldwide. She released her first – and so far, only – solo studio album in 1998, but speaking about the much delayed follow up, Hill says, “There’s been such a long period of time where I haven’t been able to communicate where my mind is, where my consciousness is, where my ideas are. This is an athletic discipline. You gotta be in shape to do it mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically. But it’s time.”
Hill’s second solo venture was an MTV Unplugged release that dropped in 2002.