Over the Hill

for The Brooklyn Paper
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It’s been 10 years since Lauryn Hill released her critically acclaimed album, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,” and elevated herself from hip-hop success with the Fugees to pop superstardom. Now she’s back, playing a free Aug. 6 show at Wingate Field in Crown Heights, but does she still have “That Thing,” to borrow the name of her 1998 hit, that will draw a crowd? Or, more importantly, keep one?

During a recent performance in California, Hill did little to entertain her fans, many of whom demanded refunds for their $89 tickets. She appeared onstage unkempt and late, had difficulty singing over her band and fell on the stage. Not exactly the kind of behavior that show promoters, or fans, are looking for. Is this any way to get back into the public eye?

“I don’t foresee a comeback anytime soon,” said Andrew Simon, a Fort Greene resident and Managing Editor of Complex magazine. “I think a comeback would mean her being cordoned off for many months to bring her career back…her shows these days range from disappointing to lukewarm.”

If nothing else, the Aug. 6 show will be a chance to watch Hill perform her old standbys and try to keep her act together for more than a few songs. And if she doesn’t, at least you’re not out $89.

“An Evening with Lauryn Hill,” will start at 7:30 pm on Aug. 6 at Wingate Field (Winthrop Street between Brooklyn and Kingston avenues in Crown Heights). Free. For information, call (718) 469-1912.
Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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