'The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill' has now sold over 7.5 million pure copies in the US. It’s one of the best selling debut albums ever. With its release in 1998 the album's lyrics touch upon Hill's pregnancy and the turmoil within her former group the Fugees, along with themes of love and God. The album's title was inspired by the film and autobiographical novel The Education of Sonny Carson, and Carter G. Woodson's The Mis-Education of the Negro. It could be said that Lauryn shaped the image of a female rapper being able to both sing and rap alongside Queen Latifah.
After touring with the Fugees, Hill became involved in a romantic relationship with Jamaican entrepreneur Rohan Marley, and shortly after, became pregnant with their child. This pregnancy, as well as other circumstances in her life, inspired Hill to make a solo album. Recording sessions for the album took place from late 1997 to June 1998 mainly at Tuff Gong Studios in Kingston, as Hill collaborated with a group of musicians known as New Ark in writing and producing the songs. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 422,624 copies in its first week, which broke a record for first-week sales by a female artist. It was promoted with three hit singles: "Doo Wop (That Thing)", "Ex-Factor", and "Everything Is Everything". "Doo Wop (That Thing)", the lead single, peaked at number one in the US, with the latter two singles peaking within the top 40. To further promote the album, Hill made televised performances on Saturday Night Live and the Billboard Music Awards before embarking on a sold-out, worldwide concert tour.