Lauryn Hill

Lauryn Hill Boogies Down in Brooklyn

“Sorry if you had to wait a few minutes or a few hours,” the radiant, yet defensive Lauryn Hill said on Tuesday night (Dec. 28) as she approached the intimate masses during a tour stop at Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg, “but I personally think I’m worth it.”

And she was. Regardless of the fact that she substantially backed up her reputation of showing up at her standing-room only concerts whenever she damn well feels like it (12 a.m., when the tickets said 8 p.m.), L. Boogie gave her die-hards a quality performance. Dressed in what could be described as a designer moo-moo, her onyx eyes glistened as she started off with an esoteric Bob Marley tune; the tone for the night was grown, reflective, and evolved.

She performed some of her classics (such as “Ex-Factor” and “Lost Ones”) and switched up the beat to create a brand new experience. The audience was thrown and the crowd participation level was low until the latter portion of the show, although she was showered with praise all night from adoring fans, who yelled, “I love you, Lauryn” and “You’re the best.”

Ms. Hill’s versatility, raw vocals, and energy was what kept fans hugging the stage for two hours sans bathroom breaks. She caught the holy hip-hop ghost a few times, dancing vivaciously through bass-heavy Fugees throwbacks like “Fu-Gee-La” and “Ready or Not.” Despite her reputed Kanye-sized ego, she seemed reverent to her audience, serenading them with an “I found you, Brooklyn, and you found me too” during a poignant breakdown on “To Zion.” She closed out with the universally accessible “Doo Wop (That Thing),” which appropriately summed up the evening. Rumors, Marley seeds, punctuality issues, and all—she’s still got it.

–Rajul Punjabi