Ms. Lauryn Hill The MLH Caravan: A Diaspora Calling! Concert Series
Lauryn Hill is the female rapper that every Black Women draws inspiration from. For a long time, Doo Wop’s lyrics proved to me that it actually is easier to practice self-respect rather than self-deprivation in romantic relationships. How often do we hear Black women in the media preach about positive relationship practices? I’m convinced that mainstream radio avoids playing Hill because they know her lyrics are timeless and will forever transform the way youth think about music. I’ve written about songs of hers before when I explained how modern Hip-Hop has lost it’s ‘fire’. Once you realize how the monetization of music has destroyed hip-hop, you’ll never want to disrespect the genre by turning on a radio ever again. I keep The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill in my car just in case somebody’s Pretty Faced baby daddy, who cares about his Tims more than his women, tries to holla at me.
Aside from the event being a Lauryn Hill concert, I was attracted to it because of the concert title, “A Diaspora Calling”. With the current unification of Black activists, entertainers, teachers, scholars etc. under the umbrella of the Black Lives Matter Movement, the show title ‘A Diaspora Calling’ grabbed my attention. Would Hill be expressing her piece on the social and political dynamics of the country? Maybe musically? Regardless, when I saw that Hill was coming to Seattle I took my boyfriend and my father out with me to go. We sat at the top of the beautiful McCaw Hall while we waited for Lauryn to come on stage. McCaw Hall is a fancy venue. Patrons wear button-ups with slacks and dresses. There are concessions with alcoholic beverages (beer and wine) and light snacks on each floor. Bottles and cans are not allowed in the theater, so staff wait outside each exit checking tickets and transferring leftover drinks into plastic cups with straws in order for them to be allowed into the venue.
The stage was set up with a live band set behind a light couch chair, where I assumed Lauryn would be sitting. When I saw someone come out to tune a guitar I was excited by the possibility of her playing live, which she did end up doing beautifully. People speculated as to wether she would show up, as she is known for being notoriously late, but she did show in all of her royal essence. After about an hour and a half of openers, Hill came on stage to a roaring applause. Over a thousand people attended the event in the medium sized theater like venue. I was not disappointed at all by her performance, neither was my company. Her voice filled the space, as the lights illuminating behind her set the mood for each song, alternating from blue, pink to green. She had 3 beautiful back-up vocalists that wore all black singing choruses and harmonizing with her. The three, added a mo-town feel to the performance as they swayed behind her. She joined them in choreography sporadically throughout the performance.
Above are some examples of the alternating colors that set the mood of the stage in light. When the lights of the audience were dimmed it was as though Hill floated above the darkness. Metaphorically Hill floated above the darkness of the nation, bringing peace to Seattle just before the election of Trump that would erupt this city a few days later. She sang all of her songs with a faster tempo, a melody that almost made you want to get up onto your feet and pump your fist. Her voice was strong and her performance did not disappoint. Although my father did say that he couldn’t understand some of the lyrics, her rap speed and lyrical genius isn’t for the hard of hearing. She put a melodic twist on each song that made the hour of her on stage fly by. So happy to have shared my first Lauryn Hill concert with the two men I love at a beautiful venue on a beautiful night, November 6, 2016.