Daily Listen-Lauryn Hill-To Zion

Today’s listen is a collaboration between two legends, rapper/singer Lauryn Hill and guitarist Carlos Santana. To be honest, I didn’t even know that Santana contributed to this track until about 5 minutes ago, but that makes me like it even more. “To Zion,” off Hill’s classic 1998 album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (her first solo album after the breakup of the Fugees) broaches an unusual topic for a love song: instead of focusing on romance, this song delves into the love of a mother for her child. Thinking about it, I probably should’ve posted this song on Mother’s Day, but that’s ok. On “To Zion,” Hill defiantly and passionately rebukes those who would criticize her for daring to balance her career with her personal life, but her message is not an angry one. She focuses her energy on expressing her awe at the creation of a new life, which she paints as a divine mission, and the love she has for her child (who is actually named Zion, a word with a number of religious connotations.) The track is on point musically, too, following a shuffling hip-hop beat augmented with Santana licks and leading into a full choir chanting “Marching/marching/marching to beautiful, beautiful Zion” for minutes on end to close it out. This is a classic song, and I’d recommend it to anyone.

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