Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Quick Analysis of Lauryn Hill's "Lost Ones"


“Lost Ones” by Lauryn Hill has always been one of my favorite tracks. It is track #2 on her 8 time platinum selling solo album “The MisEducation of Lauryn Hill” and the song starts the album off in a raw street type way that people might not have expected from an artist known for her soulful vocals. I remember buying the album in the 3rd grade and when “Lost Ones” first came on I was instantly drawn to it. The repetitive drum beat in the background became something I learned to drum along to on my chest while clapping and even though I didn’t quite know what she was talking about, I instantly wanted to learn the entire song by heart. “Lost Ones” inspired me to not only be a rapper but a writer as well.

The more I listened to “Lost Ones” over the years, the more I began to understand the lyrics and the background behind the song. The track begins with the line “It’s funny how money change a situation”. In the 3rd grade that was just a clever way to begin the verse but growing up has turned that line into something I can relate to. The rest of the verse turns into somewhat of a brutally honest message to a certain someone. In this verse, she is saying that money and miscommunication messed up a friendship. She wanted to do things differently while in the music business but what she wanted did not matter to the person that this track was written about. She felt threatened and refused to be treated any type of way and as a result “the person” “tarnished” her image and spoke bad about her to the public. Lauryn Hill replies by basically saying “You might think that you will always win but after people hear this you basically just LOST!” 

In the second verse, Lauryn says that “the person”’s comments about her have turned “cold” and that “the person” has sold their soul for the benefits of the world but she believes that “wisdom is better than silver and gold”. She goes on to say that he needs to repent for his actions and that his “serpent” ways and “slick talk” won’t matter on Judgement Day. She then uses the line “Tried to play straight, how your whole style bent? Consequence is no coincidence”. It hit me today that she is most likely saying that the person she is talking about not only does things in a crooked way but might also be a homosexual attempting to “play straight”. Her saying “Consequence is no coincidence” just confirms my assumptions and anyone elses who might have thought the same thing. The rest of the verse and verse 3 just sum up her feelings about “the person” and how she feels that they should change their ways because karma is bound to catch up with them. If they don’t change they are bound to lose over and over again.

Now that I am older and can understand the lyrics a lot better I have made the assumption that this track is about Wyclef Jean, Lauryn’s former Fugees group member. I remember seeing interviews with Wyclef Jean talking about the split of The Fugees and blaming it on Lauryn Hill. This song makes sense now and I feel like Lauryn Hill is just telling what she considers the truth regarding the situation. Honestly, I think this is one of the best “diss” tracks in Hip-hop history and the lyrics are just a display of Lauryn Hill’s true feelings. “Lost Ones” is the best display of emotions I have ever heard. 


Lauryn Hill – Lost Ones (Lyrics)
It's funny how money change a situation
Miscommunication leads to complication
My emancipation don't fit your equation
I was on the humble, you - on every station
Some wan' play young Lauryn like she dumb
But remember not a game new under the sun
Everything you did has already been done
I know all the tricks from Bricks to Kingston
My ting done made your kingdom wan' run
Now understand L. Boogie non violent
But if a thing test me, run for mi gun
Can't take a threat to mi newborn son
L's been this way since creation
A groupie call, you fall from temptation
Now you wanna bawl over separation
Tarnish my image in your conversation
Who you gon' scrimmage, like you the champion
You might win some but you just lost one

You might win some but you just lost one
You might win some but you just lost one
You might win some but you just lost one
You might win some but you just lost one

Now, now how come your talk turn cold
Gained the whole world for the price of your soul
Tryin' to grab hold of what you can't control
Now you're all floss, what a sight to behold
Wisdom is better than silver and gold
I was hopeless now I'm all hopeful
Every man want to act like he's exempt
When him need to get down on his knees and repent
Can't slick talk on the day of judgment
Your movement's similar to a serpent
Tried to play straight, how your whole style bent?
Consequence is no coincidence
Hypocrites always want to play innocent
Always want to take it to the full out extent
Always want to make it seem like good intent
Never want to face it when it's time for punishment
I know that you don't wanna hear my opinion
But there come many paths and you must choose one
And if you don't change then the rain soon come
See you might win some but you just lost one

You might win some but you just lost one
You might win some but you just lost one
You might win some but you just lost one
You might win some but you just lost one

You might win some but you really lost one
You just lost one, it's so silly how come
When it's all done did you really gain from
What you done done, it's so silly how come
You just lost one

Now don't you understand man universal law
What you throw out comes back to you, star
Never underestimate those who you scar
Cause karma, karma, karma comes back to you hard
You can't hold God's people back that long
The chain of Shatan wasn't made that strong
Trying to pretend like your word is your bond
But until you do right, all you do will go wrong
Now some might mistake this for just a simple song
And some don't know what they have 'til it's gone
Now even when you're gone you can still be reborn
And, from the night can arise the sweet dawn
Now, some might listen and some might shun
And some may think that they've reached perfection
If you look closely you'll see what you've become
Cause you might win some but you just lost one

You might win some but you just lost one
You might win some but you just lost one
You might win some but you just lost one
You might win some but you just lost one

You might win some but you really lost one
You just lost one, it's so silly how come
When it's all done did you really gain from
What you done done, it so silly how come