"Life out of context is living ungodly," Ms. Lauryn Hill sings in
"Black Rage," the new song she's named her 2012 tour after.
Built over a jazzy interpolation of the Sound of Music's "My
Favorite Things," the song is heavy, exploring the brutal and
checkered history of Black America: "Two-thirds a person," "rapings,"
"beatings," "victims of violence both psyche and body." It's the
centerpiece of her show, an important moment that underscores that Ms.
Hill has never been into the idea of easy lyricism, and that she isn't
afraid to approach uncomfortable, but important, topics. So when she
finished the song to a sea of whoops and cheers, she must have
wondered if the message was lost on the audience, and a sea of
cellphone camera flash. "What did I just say?" she queried.