01 August 2011

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill's Fans

Last week, Lauryn Hill announced the birth of her sixth child, a son, and then somehow found the strength to perform in LA just days after giving birth. Of course, this newest edition to Hill's family surprised very few, since photographs of her on stage during her Moving Target tour last spring led to speculations that she was pregnant--a rumor she later confirmed. As is the tendency when news of Hill's personal life emerges, the commoners side-eyed, sighed, smh'd and almost angrily mumbled about Lauryn running game like the Knicks/build [us] up only to lose the championship. Would she still appear at Rock the Bells and perform 1998's axis-altering solo debut, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill as had been planned? Would we ever hear that follow-up studio album? This latest pregnancy put everything (the fans wanted) in jeopardy.


And then, Rohan Marley, son of the legendary Bob Marley and the father of Hill's five other children, deflected our attention back to Hill's pregnancy. Almost as soon after we got that Lauryn Hill is pregnant again? look off of our faces, Marley turned to Twitter and denied paternity, his fathering this child, too, being something many had simply taken for granted. The vitriol with which many responded to Marley was palpable through our keyboards, and, perhaps, not unwarranted. After all, how many of us considered Marley an inherent part, if not the entire reason for Hill's "fall"? Wasn't he the one who started seeing Hill when he was already married? Did we not blame Hill's failure to come back on her seemingly constantly being pregnant...by Rohan Marley?  What (career) woman would have that many kids voluntarily? He was keeping her from us, right? And here Rohan was publicly denying Lauryn and their unborn child. How dare he?

Many of us responded similarly last week when Rohan, again on Twitter, congratulated Ms. Hill on the birth of her new son. And again: How dare he disrespect Hill by claiming denying that he was the father of this latest child? Our righteous indignation, it seems, was somewhat misguided. In a surprising move, Lauryn Hill responded to fans decrying Marley's denial of paternity, stating (you guessed it, via Twitter):
“Mr. Marley and I have a long and complex history about which MANY inaccuracies have been reported since the beginning. To speculate without the facts can only cause people to form WRONG conclusions. We both value privacy and for that reason defend and preserve our right to it. Contrary to numerous reports, Mr. Marley did not abandon me while pregnant with his child. We have had long periods of separation over the years but our 5 children together remain a joy to both of us. Thank you for you concern and I appreciate all the well wishes regarding the birth of my new son.” 
I guess we were wrong in our assumption(s). Duly noted.

Now, I'm not seeking to absolve Marley or his tweets. I found Marley's words of denial and later congratulations reeking of the stench of passive-aggressiveness. As part of such a private couple, it seems odd that Marley would be so public in his remarks--congratulatory or otherwise. And in both cases, Marley shot first, if you will, responding to rumors through a not so subtle invocation of Hill's sexuality and sexual practices. Marley's tweets seemed insincere and particularly tasteless, especially since they were directed towards someone he had been involved with since the late 1990s and has children with.

Yet news that Marley is not the father of Hill's newborn is what hardly interests me in this story. As I hinted to above, it seems to me that one of the narratives that has been constructed about Hill's private life is one that places Marley at--or at least near--the center of Hill's alleged downfall. That somehow, Hill would produce The Miseducation... Part II if she hadn't gotten caught up in some real basic shit would just stop having babies with Rohan. This, of course, stands in stark contrast to the story we tell ourselves about Erykah Badu who, although we still position ourselves as judge and jury of her sexual practices, has garnered some sort of mythical status when it comes to sexual encounters. The story we've created for Lauryn, however, is one where she is sort of endlessly dealing with Rohan, waiting for him to stop stunting like his daddy, cavorting with ex-wives or Brazilian models, and just come home. This may have something to do with the vulnerability and subject matter on The Miseducation and the way we came to understand Hill's relationship with fellow Fugees band member, Wyclef Jean. It also probably has to do with the fact that we just can't help but monitor black women's sexuality. The title of CNN's article about the matter, "Who's Lauryn Hill's Baby Daddy?"is proof enough of this point.

The mere suggestion, by Hill herself, that her relationship with Marley is complicated to say the least, that he is not the father of her child--thereby suggesting, for the monogamous persons paying attention--that during those lulls she was engaged with other(s) and not necessarily waiting for Rohan to act right, nuances overly simplistic stories Hill's (alleged) fans have been circulating amongst each other. Perhaps the correction issued by Hill not only shows us how wrong we are and how we really just need to shut up about such things, it also exposes the level of difficulty the public have in properly computing non-normative relationships. Hill's statement demands a re-evaluation of our motives behind constructing her as a non-agent wasting her immense talent by allocating her time to fraught romantic relationships. Such tales only distract us from other, perhaps more honest assessments of her reclusiveness: that she wanted to (be a) mother, or that, as Amy's death reminded us, fame--and our demands on the famous--really, really sucks.

Not that we should be talking about any of this anyway.

7 comments:

C.L. Jones said...

Yeah, this is why I have a love/hate relationship with Twitter.

Cicy said...

If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place.

________________________________
Tera Gold
Buy Runescape Gold
Tera Item

Anonymous said...

I understand that you've a really distinctive risk that a men and women will
Buy GW2 Gold matter an announcement indicating you're not a new lesbian and that you were being merely responding to a question completely unrelated on your libido. Fine, very good, good. It is precisely what Page rank individuals are regarding. Apart from, we all know that will hiring managers are generally continuously wondering ladies superstars for you to chime throughout about the sort of ladies theyGW 2 Gems enjoy. Our own harmful to receiving almost all crunk in addition to bouncing to findings. We will terminate your parade.

Anonymous said...

Great, excellent,Cheap Diablo 3 items very good. It is precisely what Page ranking individuals are regarding. Aside from, we all know that can hiring administrators are likely to be continuously questioning women celebrities that youkaufen wow gold chime through with regards to the sort of females

Phillips Carson said...

Additionally, killing the weakest classes buy wow gold is also very important, so try and ignore the melee on your Shaman as resto Shamans are very tough melee wise. In a word, Paladin, Warrior and Shaman all have their separate functions, if they make cheap wow gold cooperation well, they will win in WOW Arena 3v3

Anonymous said...

After done Guild Wars 2 Gold will end up brought in the genuine race begin area and allow experience start.Only now in addition, Buy D3 Gold have a (simple) moment time to devote to the many menu choices.

http://wwww.safeswtorcredits.com/ said...

And then, Rohan Marley, son of the legendary Bob Marley and the father of Hill's five other children, deflected safeswtorcredits our attention back to Hill's pregnancy. Almost as soon after we got that Lauryn Hill is pregnant again? look off of our faces, Marley turned to Twitter and denied paternity,http://wwww.safeswtorcredits.com/ his fathering this child, too, being something many had simply taken for granted. The vitriol with which many responded to Marley was palpable through our keyboards, and, perhaps, not unwarranted. After all, how many of us considered Marley an inherent part, if not the entire reason for Hill's "fall"? Wasn't he the one who started seeing Hill when he was already married? Did we not blame Hill's failure to come back on her seemingly constantly being pregnant...by Rohan Marley? What (career) woman would have that many kids voluntarily? He was keeping her from us, right? And here Rohan was publicly denying Lauryn and their unborn child. How dare he?

Designer Labels

$40 million slaves (3) 2010 (1) 4-letter words (1) 80s (1) 8th grade (1) 90s (4) a different world (1) africa (1) aladdin (1) american values (4) amy winehouse (1) anderson cooper (1) anniversary (3) antoine dodson (1) apple (1) arizona (1) athletes (1) awkward black girl (1) barack obama (13) barbara walters (1) basketball (6) beer (1) bet (1) BET Awards (2) beyonce (4) bill clinton (1) bill duke (1) bill withers (1) birthdays (1) black beauty (1) black girls (4) black kids (4) black like me (1) black love is dead (2) black masculinity (1) black people (13) black respectability (1) black thought (1) black women (7) blacks (1) blame it on the alcohol (1) blaphemy (1) blind side (1) blizzard (1) blogging (1) bob marley (1) Bobby Brown (1) books (4) brandy (1) bryan safi (1) bryant gumbel (1) burger kind (1) cam'ron (1) capitalism (2) census 2010 (1) cereal (1) chappelle's show (1) charles barkley (1) chaz bono (1) chicago (3) chick-fil-a (2) chris broussard (1) chris brown (1) christmas (3) cinema (2) class (1) college (1) college basketball (1) coming out (1) commencement (2) commercials (2) common (3) current tv (1) d'angelo (2) dad (1) daddy (1) dark girls (1) dave chappelle (1) david stern (1) dead prez (1) death penalty (2) dee rees (1) democracy (1) dibs (1) diddy (1) dilla (1) dirty laundry (1) disaster (1) disney (1) dissertation (4) diva (1) don't ask don't tell (1) donell jones (1) drew brees (1) dwele (2) ebony (1) eddie long (1) education (1) election (1) enwhitlement (1) erica jong (1) erykah badu (3) esperanza spaulding (1) espn (2) et. al. (1) etc. (1) facebook (1) faggot (1) family (1) family stand (1) fantasy football (1) federal holidays (1) feminism (1) film (2) football (7) for colored girls (1) forgiveness (2) fox news (1) free agency 2010 (1) freedom (2) gabby sidibe (3) game (1) gang starr (1) gay hip hop (1) gender (1) geraldo rivera (1) ghetto heaven (1) gifts (1) god (1) going green (2) golf (1) grace jones (1) graduate school (1) graduation (2) grandma (1) grant hill (2) grocery shopping (1) guns (1) guru (1) haiti (4) hall of fame (1) halloween (1) harlem (1) harper lee (1) harry reid (1) hateration (1) henry louis gates (1) high school (1) hip hop (3) holding history (1) hood pass (1) hoodies (1) huck finn (2) hurricane katrina (1) immigration (3) instant vintage (2) internet (1) introductions (1) ipad (1) ipod (1) isiah thomas (1) jail (2) jalen rose (2) janelle monae (1) janet jackson (1) jazmine sullivan (1) jennifer hudson (1) john howard griffin (1) john mayer (1) jokes (2) just jokes (1) kanye west (2) kelly dodson (1) kfc (1) kia (1) kim wayans (1) kinky reggae (1) kitty kelley (1) kobe (1) kobe bryant (1) kreayshawn (1) krs-one (1) kwanzaa (1) lamya (1) language (1) late night with jimmy fallon (1) latin america (1) laurence fishburne (1) lauryn hill (6) lebron james (6) lena horne (1) lenny kravitz (1) lesbians of color (1) levar burton (1) lgbt (1) life after death (2) lists (1) little dragon (1) live blogging (1) logan square (1) long live the message (1) lupe fiasco (1) macon d. (1) magic johnson (1) maia campbell (1) making the band (1) man men (1) march madness (1) mariah carey (1) mark twain (1) marriage (1) martin lawrence (1) martin luther the king (3) mary j. blige (1) masculinity (1) mayor (1) me (1) mexicans (1) michael jackson (9) michael jordan (1) michael vick (1) michelle obama (1) Mike Tyson (1) military (1) MLK Day (1) mo'nique (1) mom (1) monday (1) money (3) montana fishburne (1) morality (1) movies (7) muhsinah (1) multiracial (1) muppets (1) music (19) my block (1) my former life (4) my personal issues (14) mystic brew (1) n (1) nannie (5) national coming out day (1) nba (2) negroes (7) new orleans (1) nfl (1) nigger (1) nihilism (2) nike (1) nina simone (1) nobel peace prize (1) not voting (1) occupy wall street (2) octavia spencer (1) oprah winfrey (4) osama bin laden (2) oscar (2) oscar grant (1) painting (1) pariah (1) pat robertson (2) paul beatty (1) paul laurence dunbar (1) paula patton (1) peyton manning (1) phaedra parks (2) phd (1) pictures (1) playboy (1) plays (1) poetry (2) police (2) politics (10) polkadotted stripes (5) pop life (56) porn (1) post cereal (1) post-race (18) post-soul (1) postmodernism (1) precious (5) prop 8 (1) push (1) qpoc (1) queen latifah (4) queer as folk (6) quoteable (1) racialicious (1) racism (14) randomness (1) reading is fundamental (2) repeal (1) resolutions (1) retirement (1) rhoa (1) richard daley (1) Rick James (1) rick perry (1) rihanna (1) robots (1) robyn crawford (1) rolling in the whip (1) rumors (6) run on (1) running (1) sade (1) sammy sosa (1) samples (1) sandra bullock (3) sapphire (1) school (1) sesame street (1) sexuality (9) Shingai Shoniwa (1) shows (1) slang (1) slavery (2) slum village (1) slurs (1) snoop dogg (1) sotomayor (1) soulja boy (1) sports (8) starbucks (1) stuff white people do (1) super bowl (2) survival (1) Teena Marie (1) tell him (1) terence trent d'arby (1) the 70s (1) the 80s (2) the banal. (1) the blind side (1) the civil rights movement (1) the clipse (1) the color purple (1) the cosby show (1) the dougie (1) the everyday (1) the fab five (3) the foreign exchange (1) the golden girls (1) the gregory brothers (1) the help (2) the hunger games (2) the lion king (1) the lovers and friends show (1) the new year (1) the NOISEttes (1) the nutcracker (1) the princess and the frog (1) the puppets (1) the roots (1) the smurfs (1) the view (1) the white boy shuffle (1) this is it (1) tiger woods (4) to kill a mockingbird (1) toure (1) toussaint l'ouverture (1) trader joe's (2) trayvon martin (2) trouble the water (1) troy davis (1) tv (1) twelve (1) twitter (1) tyler perry (5) usc (1) valentine's day (1) viola davis (1) voodoo (1) voting (1) Wayne Brady (1) web series (1) white house correspondents dinner (1) white house press corps (1) white men (1) white people (1) white saviors (1) white women (1) white women rappers (1) whitney houston (4) whoopi goldberg (1) will.i.am (1) william rhoden (1) william wordsworth (1) willow smith (2) wishing well (1) women (1) world cup (1) writing (1) wyclef (1) zo (1)