Everyone can acknowledge Lauryn Hill’s artistry and depth. There’s been a lot of negativity thrown her way lately. People have called her crazy, walked out on her shows, and have flat-out said she’s a has-been. It’s easy to poke fun at someone that you don’t know, have no emotional connection with, and rarely see. Fans have been fantasizing about another album, new music, and new collaborations from Ms. Lauryn since her 1998 release of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. A whopping 13 years later, our musical savior has reared her head to make a few appearances, but no one seems to be interested. Most people would rather discuss her flamboyant fashion choices, and keep the latest tally of how many kids she has.

But have you ever heard Lauryn Hill speak? Have you ever had the chance to really get a sense of her energy? I know I hadn’t until the dope poet, FLY, posted these two videos earlier today. The woman is fantastic, and at just 25 years old at the time, she speaks about love and understanding, and art as if she’s lived a thousand lives. In this video, her wisdom and humility are both admirable and inspirational, and I wish I could dig a little deeper into who she is now. I don’t want to get nosey and sift around in her dirty laundry, but I’m left with so many questions. Looking back, what can she share about the peaks and valleys, or as she called them, the “learning” and “mastership” stages of life, that she endured both publicly and behind the scenes? Who is she now as a woman, mother, and creator, and what insight can she share?

I’d love to know! It’s a little eerie watching this speech because it’s as if she anticipated the life ahead of her. Either way, I adore her.