Dear Lauryn Hill ~ Thanks but no thanks.

by Carmen Cruz

If you've never heard me mention this before, let me tell you now.... The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is one of my top 5 favourite albums of all time. Yes, it's a bold statement coming from a music junkie like me, but I'm sticking to it.

You know how a certain album or song can take you back to a certain time & place? Well one of the songs on this album does just that, every single time I hear it. It's called Ex-Factor .  If you can, listen to the song and picture this....

I was on a rickety old bus in Chile. It was a 6 hour bus ride from a small beach town called La Serena, back to Santiago (the capital of Chile). I was listening to my pink ipod mini (THIS exact one. Talk about old skool!). The song Ex-Factor came on, and I really concentrated on the words. Suddenly, I broke down and started to cry. I cried from the very depths of my being. I cried until I thought I might have FINALLY run out of tears and then I put the song on repeat a hundred times more, and continued to bawl (What can I say? Sometimes, us girls like to torture ourselves. I call it 'being an emotional cutter'. GAD!).  I had realized at that moment, that I was in a 4 year relationship with a boy, that was going nowhere. Sad :...( . Needless to say, it ended not long after I returned back home from Chile.

Soooooo Ms Lauryn Hill has finally decided to tour once again and grace the world with her mighty presence. She's actually coming here to Vancouver May 24rth & 25th to the Commodore Ballroom. Tickets are about $100 (if there are any left at this point). The moment I heard she was coming, I became a crazy teenager, jumping up and down in my living room, squealing and whipping my credit card out of my wallet, ready to pay whatever I needed to to get tiny hands on those tickets. Price was no option, after all, this woman's album help formed my fragile teenage mindset, back in the day. She was reading MY thoughts. She was singing MY words. I put my excitement out into the twitter world, and was met with great disappointment. I received so many tweets saying, 'Don't waste your time Carmen, or your money!' and, 'NO! The reviews have been AWFUL! Don't do it!!!'. NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Being the diehard Lauryn Hill fan that I am, I was convinced that this was impossible. They must be confused! They MUST!!! Maybe it's ANOTHER Lauryn Hill (I was in a major state of denial).  So this computer nerd headed straight for the internet to read concert reviews. Sure enough, my twitter friends were right. Review after review... they were all horrible.

Having been in the television and radio industry for many years, and having met many artists, actors and musicians in person, I can tell you that I've had my illusions (and my heart) broken, shattered, crushed and trampled MANY times. There's truly nothing worse than meeting a person/group that you've admired & respected for so many years and realizing that he/she/they are total, complete and utter losers. Tools. Jerks. Rude. It totally changes your perspective on that person/group and you just never look at them the same way again. Point in question, The Killers. I met (interviewed) them and I can tell you that I left feeling pretty crappy. You know what? I shouldn't say that. The drummer alone is a total douche bag. On the flip side of that, one of my favourite interviews was with Melissa Auf der Maur. One of the sweetest, coolest and most down-to-earth people you will ever meet, beautiful both inside & out.  She's sweet as pie I tell ya! It gave me a whole new appreciation of her as an artist and as a human being.

Now back to Ms. Lauryn Hill. I love her music waaaaay too much to have my illusions shattered. I don't think this heart of mine can handle it (dramatic *pause* but true)! I have too much respect for her. I don't want to stop loving this woman and her music. So I'm sadly going to have to sit this one out.

It's true what they say; Ignorance is bliss. This time, I'm hanging on to the bliss. I *heart* you Lauryn Hill. So thanks, but no thanks.