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Chapter 5 is “The People inside My Head, Too: Madness, Black Womanhood, and the Radical Performance of Ms. Lauryn Hill.” This fifth chapter centers postsoul musician Lauryn Hill, who was twenty-three years old when her 1998 solo debut album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, became one of the most critically and commercially successful albums in US history. Within three years, however, Hill had fallen from the favor of American pop culture and had allegedly gone mad. Examining performances, interviews, and media coverage, this chapter illuminates how various pundits and publics impute madness to Hill and how Hill herself produces, mobilizes, and brandishes “crazy” in service of devastating protest music. This chapter also prominently features hip-hop musician and producer Kanye West, who cites Hill as one of his greatest influences, endures widespread accusations of madness, and (sometimes) makes black radical music.

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