Lost Ones (Lauryn Hill song)

"Lost Ones" is a diss song by American rapper and singer-songwriter Lauryn Hill. It was released on August 25, 1998, through Ruffhouse and Columbia Records. It was written by Hill and produced by Hill, Vada Nobles and Che Pope. Despite never naming him in the song, the song is widely considered to be aimed towards Hill's former Fugees Bandmate Wyclef Jean.

"Lost Ones"
Song by Lauryn Hill
from the album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
ReleasedAugust 25, 1998
  • Lauryn Hill

The song wasn’t released as an official single, however it peaked at number 27 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart. Introduced by David Bowie, Hill performed the song at the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards.[1][2] "Lost Ones" received a Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance nomination at the 41st Grammy Awards. It is often considered to be one of the best diss songs by many critics. In 2013, Complex named it the best Rap song made by a woman.[3] In June 2017, Rolling Stone ranked it 45th on their '100 Greatest Hip Hop Songs of All Time' list.[4]


"Lost Ones" was written and recorded at Chung King Studios in New York City, and completed in June 1998 at Tuff Gong Studios in Kingston, Jamaica, the song makes mention of this with the lyrics "I was hopeless, now I’m on Hope Road," and Hill figuratively and literally was: Tuff Gong's address is 56 Hope Road.[5] The song is considered to be a nameless diss track aimed towards Hill's former Fugees bandmate Wyclef Jean.[6] Following the split of The Fugees, Hill's former bandmate Jean blamed the split of the group on Hill's pregnancy, his tumultuous relationship with Hill and Jean marrying another woman while being in a relationship with Hill.[7] Shortly after Hill began working on solo projects, ultimately turning down Wyclef Jean's offer to produce an album for Hill after urging her not to start a solo career. According to her former bandmate Pras this led to Hill's animosity towards Jean after she fully supported his solo career and featured on his album, Wyclef Jean Presents The Carnival.[8][9]


When asked if he believes the song is about him, Jean responded "personally I don’t take it as a shot".[10] However Fugees member Pras claimed that Jean did think the song was about him when it was released, stating "obviously, he(Jean) thought it was about him. But I think he just kinda shrugged it off."[11]


"Lost Ones" has been placed on many critics list of the greatest diss songs,[12] as well as the greatest hip hop songs of all time.[13] Music journalist Danyel Smith, referred to it as "the greatest diss record of all time", In conversation with Smith, rapper MC Lyte referred to the track as "the most beautifullest diss song".[14] O magazine placed the song on their list of 'The 50 Best Hip Hop songs of All Time'.[15][16] Music critic Kathy Iandoli, placed the song at number two on her ballot of BBC’s 'Greatest Hip Hop songs of all time'.[17] MTV placed it on their list of 'Rap's Top 10 Diss Songs' list.[18] Rolling Stone ranked 45th on their '100 Greatest Hip Hop Songs of All Time' list. NME placed it on their list of '19 Of The Fiercest Diss Tracks In Hip-Hop, Rock And Pop History'.[19] Complex ranked it 28th on their list of the '50 Greatest Hip Hop Diss Songs,[20] and topped their list of the '50 Best Rap Songs Made By Women'.

Rapper Fabulous samples the song on his single "Real One".[21] singer-songwriter H.E.R.’s flipped the song on her single "Lost Souls", by using a similar flow, drum pattern, and scratches.[22] The song "We Know" from the Broadway musical Hamilton, references "Lost Ones".[23]


Chart (1998) Peak


US R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay[24] 27

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Weingarten, Christopher R. (2018-08-25). "Flashback: See Lauryn Hill Perform Lush Version of 'Lost Ones' at MTV VMAs". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2021-03-13.
  2. ^ Gregoriadis, Linus (1999-09-11). "MTV video awards Grammy winner Lauryn Hill dominates". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2021-03-13.
  3. ^ "The 50 Best Rap Songs by Women". Complex. Retrieved 2021-03-25.
  4. ^ "100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. 2017-06-02. Retrieved 2021-03-13.
  5. ^ Kot, Greg (1999-01-21). "Lauryn Hill: The Album of the Year". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2021-03-13.
  6. ^ Clerine, Alain. "This Day in Hip Hop: Lauryn Hill's 'Miseducation' inspires a generation - NYS Music". Retrieved 2021-03-13.
  7. ^ Sieczkowski, Cavan (2012-09-18). "Why Wyclef Jean Says Lauryn Hill Affair Ruined The Fugees". HuffPost. Retrieved 2021-03-13.
  8. ^ Touré; Touré (2003-10-30). "The Mystery of Lauryn Hill". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2021-03-13.
  9. ^ "The 40 Biggest Hip-Hop Feuds". Complex. Retrieved 2021-03-13.
  10. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Wyclef: "911" Wasn't a Shot at Lauryn, Unsure if "Lost Ones" Was a Shot at Him". www.vladtv.com. Retrieved 2021-03-13.
  11. ^ Bandini (2016-10-15). "Pras Details Being Caught In The Middle Of Lauryn Hill & Wyclef's Problems (Video)". Ambrosia For Heads. Retrieved 2021-03-13.
  12. ^ "The 20 best hip hop diss tracks of the '90s". Mixmag. Retrieved 2021-03-13.
  13. ^ Mo, Reasy. "My Recap of XXL's 250 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs 1990-1999 Part 2". Retrieved 2021-03-13.
  14. ^ Smith, Danyel (2021-03-11). "Chapter 6: The Diss-Education of Lauryn Hill, Feat. Angela Yee and MC Lyte". The Ringer. Retrieved 2021-03-13.
  15. ^ Hunt, Jennifer (2000-09-22). Time. ISSN 0040-781X http://content.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,55618,00.html. Retrieved 2021-03-13. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. ^ Rindner, Grant (2020-06-25). "50 Essential Hip-Hop Songs That Capture the Genre's History". Oprah Magazine. Retrieved 2021-03-13.
  17. ^ "The greatest hip-hop songs of all time – who voted". www.bbc.com. Retrieved 2021-03-13.
  18. ^ MTV News Staff. "Rap's Top 10 Diss Songs". MTV News. Retrieved 2021-03-13.
  19. ^ Barker, Emily (2015-07-29). "19 Of The Fiercest Diss Tracks In Hip-Hop, Rock And Pop History". NME. Retrieved 2021-03-13.
  20. ^ "The 50 Best Hip-Hop Diss Songs". Complex. Retrieved 2021-03-13.
  21. ^ April 13, Scott GlaysherPublished; 2018. "20 of the Best Hip-Hop Samples of Lauryn Hill's Music - XXL". XXL Mag. Retrieved 2021-03-13.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  22. ^ "H.E.R. Flips Lauryn Hill's "Lost Ones" On New Track "Lost Souls"". Genius. Retrieved 2021-03-13.
  23. ^ "Watch Leslie Odom Jr. reveal some hidden hip hop references in 'Hamilton'". TODAY.com. Retrieved 2021-03-13.
  24. ^ "Lauryn Hill". Billboard. Retrieved 2021-03-13.