Released : 1998
It was good to know that, even in the uber cynical nineties (Well, at least we thought they were uber cynical) we could still fall in love with a song. Lauryn Hill was hardly an unknown quantity after a star turn with Wyclef Jean on The Fugees proto-classic The Score, but her solo debut was a revelation, bulldozing it’s way into the UK’s charts, eventually reaching number three.
An adept, perfectly judged blend of soul and hip-hop with a strong message that spoke to both self-esteem and emancipation, Doo Wop (That Thing) was female conscience rap alive in the pop world and an equally powerful raised middle finger to the hypocrisy many women were faced with from God and man alike.
In a Britain still attempting to digest the lumpy Girl Power aesthetics of The Spice Girls and All Saints, Hill’s gentle counsel sounded like activism by comparison, smart where dumb had been the norm. But most of all Doo Wop was a song to fall in love with which had a lot of love for you, even if you were trying hard to be good but not always getting it right. Everyone deserves a second chance, but Lauryn Hill didn’t need one.