Lauryn Hill Performs “Mystery of Iniquity”
Lauryn Hill will perform this Saturday (Aug. 6) on PBS's Austin City Limits, but before the entire set airs comes a preview clip of Hill performing "Mystery of Iniquity," a song she first debuted at her 2000 MTV Unplugged recording that wound up on her 2002 release MTV Unplugged 2.0. The song would go on to receive a Grammy nomination in 2003 for Best Female Rap Solo Performance, a category that eventually dropped its gender specification.
Watch Hill's performance above as she's backed by a brass, drums and strings, seated with her guitar in her lap, a small table of lit candles beside her. To the unfamiliar, "Mystery of Iniquity" is perhaps best known for inspiring Kanye West's "All Falls Down." The hook on the latter uses lyrics from the former, but as the story goes, Kanye was unable to clear the sample and so he had Sylenna Johnson resing it.
Speaking with MTV in 2005, John Monopoly, Kanye's friend, manager and business partner said, "It was a big letdown that the Lauryn Hill sample didn't get cleared...We flew down to Miami and talked to the Marley brothers [one of whom is Hill's husband]. I was even in communication with Mrs. Hill. I thought we came to terms, but because of what some other people that were in the mix did, it didn't happen."
As a result, "Mystery of Iniquity" forever serves to delight any Kanye fans who stumble across it, with the above performance speaking to the power of the original.
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