Lauryn Hill // Ready or Not, Here She Eventually Comes

Ms. Lauryn Hill is known for two things: being a lyrical genius and showing up late to her shows. Despite the latter, the former Fugees members can still amass a crowd hoping to hear the voice that won 5 Grammys. But even Music’s Biggest Night isn’t exempt from Hill’s tendency to show up late or, in that case, not show up at all. Originally scheduled to perform with The Weeknd, Hill unofficially won the award for most awkward timing to play hooky.

But to fans, her most notable offense was when the “Ready or Not” singer arrived at an Atlanta concert 2 hours late, performing less than 30 minutes before her microphone was silenced. After receiving backlash, Hill took to the internet, penning a lengthy statement in which she blamed her chronic tardiness on the unalignment of energy.


Hill brought her MLH Caravan: A Diaspora Calling! Tour to Birmingham, sending fans into a frenzy. Would she show up late? Would she even show up? Hours before the show, Iron City Bham confirmed on social media that the Grammy-winning artist made it to her sound check, assuring patrons that the show would go as planned.


Beginning sharply at 8 p.m., Haitian artist Paul Beaubrun served as the opener, entertaining the almost sold-out crowd with a medley of his creole-inspired tracks and covers from Bill Withers, Bob Marley and his father, the late Theodore Beaubrun and Co-founder of the Boukman Eksperyans.  Throughout his set the Haitian performer solicited audience participation, often asking them to either sing along or make certain sounds. Seconds after his set, Beaubrun returned stage. In an obvious attempt to filibuster, the Grammy-nominated artist and his band performed for an additional 20 minutes.

At 9:30 p.m., Hill’s personal DJ took to the stage, spinning a bevy of old school and modern day hits, including a mix of Kanye West, Future, SWV and a special tribute to the Purple One, Prince.  Concluding shortly at 10, members of Hill’s band slowly filled on stage to their respective marks.


At 10:15, Hill sauntered on stage wearing a headwrap and a trench coat-style dress. Grabbing the mic, the veteran artist launched into a volley of “Everything is Everything”, “Forgive them Father” and “Ex-Factor” from The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Acting as both the maestro and lead vocalist, Hill often split her attention between the audience and her 12-member band. When leading the band, she would pace across the stage, frantically directing them to align with her energy flow. When facing the crowd, Hill would pour her soul into the mic, belting sweet melodies.


Speeding up the tempos, Hill took to the crowd back to her Fugees days with “Fu-Gee-La”, “Ready or Not” and a very rushed “Killing Me Softly.”

Briefly taking a detour from her tracks, Hill decided to slow things down with powerful renditions of Sade’s “Your Love is King” and “The Sweetest Taboo.”  Transitioning to back her album, the songstress sung the soulful ballad “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You.”

As the countdown to midnight approached, the energy started to slowly expire and Hill closed the show with the smash hit “ Doo Wop ( That Thing).”



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