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A woman crouching down with the white short-skirted dress, bracelets, and necklaces.
One of UK cover arts
Single by Lauryn Hill
from the album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
Released December 8, 1998
Format CD single
Recorded December 1997
Studio RPM Studios, Chung King Studios
(New York City)
Marley Music, Inc.
  • 5:27 (album version)
  • 4:38 (radio edit)
Songwriter(s) Lauryn Hill
Producer(s) Lauryn Hill
Lauryn Hill singles chronology
"Doo Wop (That Thing)"
"Everything Is Everything"
"Doo Wop (That Thing)"
"Everything Is Everything"

"Ex-Factor" is the second single from American recording artist Lauryn Hill from her debut solo album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998). The song incorporates elements of R&B, neo soul and hip hop soul. Released by Ruffhouse and Columbia Records, the song features a sample of "Can It Be All So Simple" by the Wu-Tang Clan.

The song also raised some controversy surrounding claims that it was about former bandmate Wyclef Jean of The Fugees.[1]


"Ex-Factor" was written and produced by Lauryn Hill and it features replayed elements of "Can It Be All So Simple" performed by Wu-Tang Clan.[2]

Cover versions[edit]

Monster covered the song on Gone Gone Gone/A Bash Dem" in 1999.

Holly Miranda covered the song on her EP Choose to See, which was included with the purchase of her 2010 album The Magician's Private Library.[3]

In 2006, Canadian singer Stacie Orrico sang a portion of the song in Korean channel KBS 2TV, naming the song as one of her favorite of all time.

In 2009, British R&B and soul singer Nate James covered the song on his album Revivals.

In 2012, American recording artist Beyoncé covered the song during her Revel Presents: Beyoncé Live residency at Revel Atlantic City. She again performed the song on her and Jay-Z's On the Run Tour.

Teyana Taylor sampled some parts in her 2011 song "Her Room (Marvin's Room Remix)".

Chart performance[edit]

Although not as successful as her previous single "Doo Wop (That Thing)", the song still garnered widespread success and acclaim. This song spent 22 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at 21 on the week of April 10, 1999. It also charted on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, spending 31 weeks and peaking number 7 on March 13, 1999.[4] It reached number 4 on the UK Singles Chart and spent 16 weeks on the chart, it remains Hill's biggest hit in UK.

Track listing[edit]

  • UK CD1'
  1. "Ex-Factor" [Album Version] – 5:27
  2. "Ex-Factor" [Part II Remix] – 4:38
  3. "Ex-Factor" [A Simple Mix] – 4:37
  • UK CD2
  1. "Ex-Factor" [Radio Edit] – 4:38
  2. "Ex-Factor" [A Simple Breakdown] – 4:10
  3. "Lost Ones" [Remix] – 4:17
  • Australian single
  1. "Ex-Factor" [Radio Edit] – 4:38
  2. "Ex-Factor" [Album Version] – 5:27
  3. "Ex-Factor" [Instrumental] – 5:27
  4. "Ex-Factor" [Callout Hook #1] – 0:10
  5. "Ex-Factor" [Callout Hook #2] – 0:05

Credits and personnel[edit]

Adapted from The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill liner notes.[2]


Chart (1998) Peak
France (SNEP)[5] 51
Germany (Official German Charts)[6] 52
Ireland (IRMA) 19
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[7] 40
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[8] 11
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[9] 46
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[10] 22
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[11] 4
UK R&B (Official Charts Company)[12] 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[4] 21
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs[4] 7


External links[edit]