You might know Movistar as the mecca of services for tourist burner phones. But did you know that you could exchange your shitty service and AR$ 4 a day data for a free concert?! The sultriest woman alive, Lauryn Hill, was recently revealed as the headliner in Movistar’s annual free music festival, Movistar Free Music (really?), with the theme of this year’s show being the empowerment of women (OK, that’s cool).
Appearing alongside several prominent Latin American women like Miss Bolivia, Las Taradas, Deborah de Corral, Rosal, and others, this isn’t the first time hip hop’s raspiest rapper has been honored next to various impressive influencers. At just 23 years old, she was one of only seventeen African Americans to appear on the cover of Time magazine in the 1990s, an honor shared by Oprah Winfrey and Toni Morrison, amongst others.
A musical and political icon since the release of her record-breaking self-debuting album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill in 1998, Ms. Hill has gained an almost religious following during her lifetime. Her politically charged lyrics have permeated culture with more significance than most people probably realize. In Rolling Stone’s 10 year commemoration analysis of the album, D’Angelo, a vocalist on the track “Nothing Even Matters,” revealed that the song’s lyrics were often quoted in church sermons around the country. The New Jersey based R&B soul singer remains an important reference for black communities and activists fighting prejudice all across the world. She recently appeared alongside other black influencers in the video, “When I see them, I see us,” a video tied to the organization Black Lives Matter, which called for a solidarity between African American artists and Palestinians fighting social injustice in Israel. This caused some issues for her on tour, however, as she booked shows in both Tel Aviv and Ramallah, but cancelled the former due to various political unrest and pressure.
If you’re not familiar with the music of Miss. Lauryn Hill (we’re judging you) perhaps you’ve heard of her very public arrest in 2013 for evading around $1.8 million in taxes between 2005 and 2007. Rumors of associations with a cult-like spiritual leader and public expressions of frustration and distrust in various communities, lead to Hill’s withdrawal from the public eye in 2000. After a court order lead to a three-month stint in Danbury, Connecticut, at a minimum security prison, however, Hill began her comeback, gaining widespread acclaim for her vocal accompaniment in the 2015 documentary, What Happened, Miss Simone? Now, she pops up poignantly every now and then in the media, most recently on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon alongside The Weeknd for a performance of his hit track “In the Night.”
So what does Lauryn Hill coming to Buenos Aires mean? Well for one, a symbol of political distrust and public outrage with the mistreatment of minorities, her visit comes at a pivotal point in Argentine history. With recent talks regarding the bending of public information and a lack of accurate statistical data, activists and residents alike are calling for the end to an era where public leaders are able to get away with corruption and cover-ups. Hill is a firm believer in the “forgive, but never forget” motto, much like that of many of the human rights groups in Argentina, evident in the release of her track, “Black,” as a response to police brutality in Ferguson, Missouri. The lyrics read,
Black Rage is founded on blocking the truth!
Murder and crime, compromise and distortion
Sacrifice, sacrifice, who makes this fortune?
Greed, falsely called progress
Such human contortion
*Nervously laughs…* But we digress. Go see Lauryn Hill live on March 12th at 2PM in front of the Planetario — That is, of course, if you’re a Movistar customer. If not, then this was completely irrelevant. No ticket for you.