In Water Is Wet News: Lauryn Hill (Still) Shows Up 2 Hours Late to Concerts

Illustration for article titled In Water Is Wet News: Lauryn Hill (Still) Shows Up 2 Hours Late to Concerts
Photo: Andrew H. Walker (Getty Images)

I am known for many things. My humor, great smile, stamina, the list goes on. But one thing my black ass is not known for is punctuality. Given the opportunity, I will probably roll up late to my own funeral. Everyone will be there ready to mourn/celebrate my life and I’ll be somewhere in traffic, dressed in my Sunday’s best.


You know who else isn’t known for their punctuality? Lauryn “Miseducation” Hill. When God was handing out punctuality she and I clearly skipped the line to shuck and jive with Gabriel and Moses—because they had Cloud 9 lit.

So in 2018, the year of our Lord and Beyoncé, no one in their right mind should really be expecting punctuality from Ms. Hill. Maya Angelou told all of us to believe someone when they showed us who they are, and Lauryn has continuously shown us that she does not give a single, solitary fuck about your time.

Yet, here we are in the present day and folks are still getting big mad at Lauryn and her sense of time. She’s currently on the European leg of the 20th anniversary of the Miseducation tour and on Monday, the 43-year-old artist once again showed up two hours late, dressed in everything she could find in her closet. (Sidebar: I always feel Lauryn Hill dresses like she’s trying to avoid baggage fees by wearing every piece of clothing that she owns.)

After showing up late, Hill reportedly performed for a strong 32 minutes and then chucked the deuces to her fans when the mics were cut at curfew. But as it turns out, Hill wasn’t completely devoid of fucks, taking to Al Gore’s internet to issue an apology to her fans.


But as we’ve said before: You might win some, but if you’re still attending Lauryn Hill shows in 2018, you really deserve whatever comes your way. Praying to Zion ain’t gonna change facts. And fact is, Lauryn Hill has never been about that thing known as punctuality.

Chief Beyoncé Content Officer @ TheRoot. I aspire to be as steadfast & unmovable as Solange's wig. Former President of Hogwart's Black Student Union.



There are all sorts of valid reasons why a musician, especially a singer, may start a concert late, or perhaps even cancel — once, or perhaps once in a while. For example, in the classical world, it is expected that an opera singer will cancel if he or she has something as simple as a head cold or sore throat, if it will interfere with the singer’s ability to sing the role properly. Understudies are ready to cover as needed. In the bigger picture, anyone can have a flat tire, feel ill, have an upset stomach (whether caused by nerves, spicy food, e. coli contamination, or whatever), technical issues, or countless other reasons that can interfere with starting a performance on time.

But when it is a signature move, and that late? Then I view it as some sort of display of power through audience manipulation, and/or neurotic acting out.

Some musicians thrive in the limelight. Some just do their job. Many performers experience stage fright: some intermittently, others routinely. But if performing is your job, then you need to figure out how to do your job. Most musicians prepare diligently, so they can feel confident onstage. Some musicians meditate, pray, or use other similar mental techniques to get their heads in the right place. Some musicians use tiny doses of beta blockers to calm their nerves. (Some use, ahem, other substances, often to their long-term detriment.) Some musicians retreat to the recording studio. Some musicians retire or quit the business.