Syleena Johnson Does Lauryn Hill (Again)


Chi-town stand up! Your homegirl Syleena Johnson is returning this summer with her next album Chapter 4: Labor Pains to be released on her label Aneelys Records. The first single, "Is It True," has been bubbling on the net for a few days but another track has surfaced that has piqued my interest. Ms. Johnson has decided to remake Lauryn Hill's "Ex-Factor." There aren't many people who can touch Lauryn's pre-bizarre vocals but Syleena is one of those people. When Kanye West couldn't get clearance to sample Hill's chorus from "Mystery Of Iniquity" for his song "All Falls Down," it was Syleena who stepped in and killed the track. Now she's taking on a full-length Hill cut with a remake of "Ex-Factor" and the result is a rich, throaty and straight from somebody's Sunday morning gospel choir rendition. Chi rapper Bump J spits a few bars and although he doesn't add anything to the song at least he's not Lil Wayne.

And, fellas, her eyes are up there. Thanks.

Syleena Johnson feat. Bump J: "Ex-Factor"

Syleena Johnson

Bump J [MySpace]

[Photo: Steven Ledell]

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42 Responses

  1. Aw shit, I'm really excited about this. I LOVE Syleena! I've supported all her projects. And she's probably the only one who can really remake that classic song. I have take a listen when I get home.

  2. I still haven't gotten past this photo....

  3. Love Syleena but doesn't this song fall into the realm of those you just don't remake? Don't get me wrong but doesn't the fact that Syleena sounds a bit like Lauryn make it all the more odd?

  4. My side-eye was TWITCHING majorly when I read this because Ex-Factor is probably my favorite Lauryn joint. I played it 1000 times back in college. I was going through ya'll! But I must say, Syleena does it justice. I don't think it needed to be re-made. BUT if you're going to do it, do it WELL and she did. My side-eye can rest.
    Butta you're a mess. Cut it out.
    Nova and his tit-ay fetish. Too insidery? It is quite an impressive rack though.

  5. i have a newfound love 4 this woman!! she's so soulfoul

  6. She did a nice job with it. I love her voice, I just don't get the same feeling that I do from Lauryn's version. I ain't mad at her though.

  7. I prefer to Lauryn Hill, she feels it I love lauryn

  8. I think she did the song justice, not many people can turn a classic and make it their own.ExFactor was a song that was already perfected.But I love Syleena because the chick is bad.

  9. I'm a huge Lauryn fan, I also love Syleena's voice...she rock'd it.

  10. I love Lauryn..miss her too man I wish she'd come back. Syleena rock'd it though.

  11. Yes, kudos to Butta on her choice of photo.

  12. Lord knows I miss Lauryn, but Syleena did a pretty good job. She's the only person I can think of who can even fill the void in vocal comparison to Lauryn.
    Oh, and I doubt this song actually makes Syleena Johnson's album. Lauryn wouldn't clear the rights for All Falls Down and that's just a hook. I don't see how she would do it for a whole song.
    I'm glad to see Syleena back too. I've always been a fan and look forward to hearing more.

  13. Uh, no. Great vocal, just too "great" for me. I mean, the woman sounds like she's embodying Lauryn, which only makes me miss and want to hear more Lauryn. Sigh.

  14. You know, something tells me L. Boogie might let her use this one. But even if its not on the album which is the more sensible thought, what better promotion for a Myspace/Facebook ad campaign. i.e. If Syleena can do justice to this song, don't you want the album to see what else she can do?

  15. Syleena can sing but I think she should have left this alone. All she did was make me go pull out Miseducation. That album was damn near perfect.

  16. Syleena has eyes?? I don't believe it! I guess I will FINALLY look at her face and see for myself...
    I'm not a big fan of remakes in most cases because the artist doing the remaking either does a terrible job at it, or they sound just like the original. In either case, what's the point? I prefer a remake that takes a song in a different direction, and Syleena didn't do that on this track. I dig Syleena, but she's too talented to be doing remakes...

  17. It was cooooooolllll, but... No one's gonna put the stank on it like Lauryn, Period. Now, I do enjoy Syleena's voice. I'd rather here some of her original work.

  18. First of all as a Syleena fan, Butta you got the name of the first single from Chapter 4: Labor Pains wrong. The title of the track is "It is True". A beautiful song, but you wouldn't understand it if you have never experienced that type or love in a spiritual sense. I love Syleena's version of the "Ex-factor" as well as Lauryn's. Syleena has a very soulful voice and flavor that very few in this industry today touch. I don't like the fact you are putting Ms. Syleena down. Maybe you are hard of hearing, and just don't know she talented as well as Lauryn is. She hasn't messed up a song, yet. Yes, she has original work Amijane listen to Chapter's 1-3. She has a originality.

  19. I think Syleena is the bomb. I read somewhere though that this was a leak and she did it a couple of years back as a tribute to Lauryn Hill because so many people compared her to her after all falls down. It was for some chocago Dj's mix tape, I don't remember the name. I am also a HUGE fan of Lauryn Hill, and if she did a tribute to her I think thats dope! and i think you should try and sound just like her if your gonna do that cause any other way probably woulda been wack. Then people woulda been saying she doesn't sound anything like her! I think duplicating it was safer, It doesn't appear to me that she tried to out do her. If you are a Syleena Fan you know she has a totally different style.

  20. Glad to see Syleena is back! She did this justice, for sure, and while she may sound like Lauryn a little, she brings her own to this track.

  21. Damn babygirl has blown the hell up! is she prego or what?!? Syleena try pilates or sumptin:)

  22. Avatar

    Yoooooo! This song is hot. I love Syleena's voice and honesty on the last three chapters and cannot wait for "Chapter 4: Labor Pains", which is due out September 2, 2008. I like remakes because I do believe that there is creativity in interpretation. When I hear a remake I don't want it to feel the same as the original. What Syleena feels when she performs the song may be different from what Lauryn felt when performed it. Two different people. The new song she has on her myspace page "It is True" is Fiyah too!! Syleena, for me, is one of those artist I don't have to sample to buy. Just tell me the "due date" and I'm in line!

  23. Love this song, and Syleena killed it. That woman can sang, sang, sang! Can't wait till her new album drops.

  24. Nova, you haven't gotten past the picture!!!
    Don't worry your not be yourself. She did an excellent job covering this, but is there hint of Ms. Hill on the vocals.
    Syleena, you are just wrong for that picture.

  25. I should probably listen to the song, huh? 😉

  26. I didn't like it. The rap was corny. It really took away from the song. Lauryn put all her heart and soul into that song and this is just a nice cover but a cover. I posted it elsewhere but very few people can really pull off a remake. Aretha Franklin did and often made it her signature so that you wouldn't know it was not an original. I felt Lauryn's pain this is just nice karaoke.

  27. damn i wish i was a baby



  30. I absolutely love this song. Syleena does sound alot like Lauryn which makes it all the more better. I've been listening to both of them for years and it's hard to name a fav because they are both unique. I glad on this song I don't have to pick cause they both kill it.

  31. I love..syleena killed it...she probably won't get clearance but hell..what great promotion...i love that new joint she that is real singing...where is Lauryn anyway? and hell what about bump j? He is serious from the CHI

  32. I've always been a huge Syleena fan. Seeing her perform live and meeting her solidifying my adoration. My Side-Eye-Meter didn't twitch as I knew she was gonna come with it.
    Although she is incredible eye candy, Syleena doesn't need to back muffins in her tops to get people to listen to her.

  33. I LOVE IT! I think that she did great on this song, especially towards the end! To me she does NOT sound like Lauren Hill at all, she sound like Syleena.

  34. I luv syleena!!!she killed the song...good job ms johnson...I think you did the best job..its hard to get that scratchyness that lauryn has and u did it...

  35. ummm. I'm gonna have to agree with the comment that this shouldn't have been touched. And I'm a hard-core Syleenah fan! I love her to death! chapter 2 is one of my favorite cd's ever! Lauryn is my baby though. She is absolutely irreplaceable! I wish to God she would make a comeback. The Miseducation is one the ILLEST ALBUMS EVER! The Ex-factor is a classic that only Lauryn can put in the prospective it was truly meant to be. However, if it was simply a tribute like one person said then I don't see the harm in it. It was ok for that. Somewhat mediocre coming from Syleenah though. And the rap verse needs to be snatched! lol. Their voices are very similar in texture, but very different in tone. I know when I'm listening to Syleenah or Lauryn. But in support. love, and true anticipation I can't wait for Chapter 4. Keep doin ya thang Syleenah!!!!!!!!!!!!

  36. Leena your remake of Ex-Factor was incredible. I will be the first person in San Diego, CA to buy your CD! Your biggest fan!

  37. Great Song! So excited about this cd it's gonna be hot!! Chapter 3 is a favorite and always in rotation in my house and I'm sure Chapter 4 will be the same!

  38. syleena has got style she's in a class of her own, so far i've bought all her albums yep next one to add to my collection.
    dj bully b hot 96 9pm - 11pm gmt
    pushing syleena johnson tunes on my show's

  39. It was okay, I prefer the original!

  40. Leena continues to rock on. I love you girl. Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is a classic album and considering Syleena's Classic TALENT... She's the one to bring back music. Too bad the industry doesn't support real music. Yes, she is too talented for remakes, but in my opinion people will finally pay attention. Keep rockin' Syleena. I got your back.
    Zion, by way of Evanston.

  41. I almost LOST it last year when I was on and heard Syleena's voice. I thought it was Lauryn Hill but then I read the situation here on of where you mentioned that Kanye West needed to get clearance to use Lauren Hill's voice and was unable to do it.
    Despite having a voice similar to Lauryn Hill's voice, she still has her own style and I appreciate her flair in the music business.
    Thanks for sharing!!


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