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Rejoice! A new(ish?) Lauryn Hill song!

I was a little afraid that I might have to wait for another nice round anniversary year to blog again about Lauryn Hill after last week’s Miseducation milestone. So a million thanks are in order to the Roots’ ?uestlove, who kept the celebration going yesterday by pointing his Twitter readers toward a never-before-heard leaked song from Ms. Hill (h/t). Yes! It’s unclear when, exactly, “World is a Hustle” was recorded, but it’s pretty great — all eight minutes of it. Crying out against hypocrisy and greed in words that recall her Unplugged album, but fleshing out the production with the soulful flourishes of her studio work, this sounds like the logical next step we’ve been waiting for in her progression as an artist.

Before I get too carried away, I should point out that the fuzzy state of this recording would suggest that it’s more like a rough demo than a completed single. And right now we don’t really have enough context to interpret what any of those gloomy lyrical pronouncements mean. This could have been created over this past Labor Day weekend, or minutes after stepping off that unplugged stage in 2001. Ms. Hill might not have even meant for us to hear this song in any form, finished or unfinished. But I’m happy we’ve gotten the chance to enjoy it for now — whatever the circumstances. Aren’t you? Check out “World is a Hustle” below, and chime in below…

 

Originally posted September 4 2008 — 8:40 PM EDT

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