#Bandcampgold-Nina Simone & Lauryn Hill-The Miseducation of Eunice Waymon by Amerigo Gazaway
I’ve written so much about how great Amerigo Gazaway is and monologued at people about him so often that finding new great things to say will be a challenge. It’s like finding new ways to tell your wife how special she is after fifteen years. Giving it a shot: Gazaway has always been brilliant at taking two artists and weaving their work together one modern hip hop giant and another older soul head the difference this time his mission is more apparent. You can see in the title what you get from the listen, he is using Lauryn Hill to teach Nina Simone. I think you can learn more about Nina’s work from The Miseducation of Eunice Waymon than you can from any documentary (I’m not even going to talk about that movie) about her. Nina like Marvin and Stevie before are focuses for Gazaway because they are the source of all the samples. Dj’s and producers understand how deeply dope Nina was but does the average listener? Nope. They just sing along to the loop.
You should know more than the documentaries will tell you. She was a tortured soul but that’s not enough. She could squeal coo bellow and breathe life into a corny old song like Cherish. You can hear her do this in the background of To Zion as Lauryn takes the verses she is somewhere in the background living emotionally through a reverberating hum. She could find pain in her music, yup. More importantly she could find delicacy and delight just as extreme as her heartbreak. Listen to Nina on the opening of The Sweetest Thing. She makes so much of each moment we have with her. Gazaway instructs us to admire how gallantly finite she always feels.
The project is full of the best skits where Nina talks about very important parts of who she is. In one, she talks about how kids didn’t want to play with her they just asked her to play a song. Another skit talks about the duty she had to protest music for the betterment of her people. Putting all the skits together it’s a maddening position. To be isolated from your people yet completely dedicated to finding justice for them. What an incredibly American journey.
Another plus for me on this project is hearing peak Lauryn like I haven’t in a long time. Full disclosure: old Wyclef production on those Fugees albums doesn’t hold up for me. I don’t listen to them a lot. On Take It Easy I’m able to hear Lauryn spit and Nina kills it, the horns are great. Fu-Gee-La was a great song originally but I love this version so much better.
I’m not a music guy so I’m not sitting back wondering where he got these stems from. I’m so happy to have Gazaway as a dope college professor teaching me the depths of a subject I dearly love. It doesn’t matter how you feel about either of these artists or how you imagine this will sound. You’re wrong. it is way crazier. Press play.
Stream or download The Miseducation of Eunice Waymon below: