The year 2017 was a time of upheaval for black rap.
From the election of President Donald Trump to the acquittal of former Black Panther Party leader Fred Hampton on federal murder charges, the music industry was left reeling from a number of major events that left the genre with a lot of baggage.
However, while many rappers have continued to make waves in 2017, none of them have been as influential as one particular woman: Lauryn Hill.
Hill, who is now 33 years old, is one of the most critically acclaimed rappers in history.
In 2017, she was nominated for two Grammy Awards, and her breakout album, I’m Still Here, was one of 2017’s most talked about albums.
And it’s no secret that she is a feminist.
“My mother raised me in a patriarchal, patriarchal environment,” Hill told Billboard in an interview.
“So it’s a very complicated situation when I come from a white mother and I come into a world where the world is so hostile towards me because I’m white.
I’ve always had a sense of privilege, I think, but I also think I’m able to use it to speak out.
And so when I see myself in this position, it’s really challenging.”
Hill, a member of The Roots, has released several albums since moving to Los Angeles in 2000, including 2011’s Lauryan, a song about a woman’s life and the impact of racism on it.
The album featured Hill and fellow Roots member Talib Kweli, among others.
Hill has been outspoken about issues such as sexual harassment, sexual assault, police brutality, and racism in rap.
“I feel like I’m a human being, and that’s what I’m about, is not a box of emotions that I can hold,” Hill said in an appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show last year.
“And so that’s the only thing that makes me happy.
And that’s why I’m trying to bring people together, and people of color, and all the different races that make up the human race.”
Hill also stated that she does not think white women can stop racism.
“White women can’t stop racism,” she said in the interview.
Lauryn and Hill’s relationship began when Hill asked Hill if she could sing on her upcoming album.
“Yeah, you can do it,” Hill replied.
“She asked me if I’d like to sing on it, and I said yes, and she asked me what my name was, and it was ‘Lauryan,'” Hill told People.
Although Hill was nominated in three Grammy Awards and received two more nominations for Best Rap Album, the song “I’m Still here” has never been released as a single.
In 2017, Hill released a music video for “Lauryans Dream,” which featured Hill on a guitar and a drum kit, and the video was released in the summer of 2017.
“You never hear about a black woman who’s had a successful career, a black female rapper that’s been nominated for a Grammy,” Hill, whose real name is Kayla James, told Rolling Stone in an August interview.
Hill is currently promoting her third album, titled Lauryani, which was released on August 3, 2018.
For Hill, this is an opportunity to tell her story and talk about the challenges of being a black male in a predominantly white world.
“For a lot a black community, it was really difficult for us to feel like we had the power and we were doing the right thing, and then I just felt like that wasn’t the case,” Hill explained.
“Because we’ve been taught that it’s just about you and your skin color, but really, what we’re doing here is about us, about our children, and about our families.
And we’re making this record about how we’ve got to do better.”
Hill is also a vocal advocate for LGBTQ rights.
On July 15, 2017, a month after the election, Hill was honored by the White House as a Special Envoy to the LGBTQ Community.
In June, Hill announced that she would donate all profits from her album I’m So Lonesome to the United Nations.
Hill has also taken on many political issues in 2017.
“[I’m] a Black woman, a queer, and a feminist,” Hill has said in multiple interviews.
“It’s not a simple equation.”
Hill has a long history of speaking out about racial injustice, especially when it comes to race in the entertainment industry.
She was the subject of several scathing Instagram posts and Facebook posts from Black Lives Matter protesters.
In March, Hill said that she wanted to become the first black woman to lead a major hip hop band, and on April 5, 2017 she spoke to a packed House of Representatives to speak about police brutality and racism.
She also appeared at a rally in support of the Black Lives Movement and protested the inauguration of President Trump on Jan. 20, 2017.