“I’ve Been Fighting For Existential And Economic Freedom”: Lauryn Hill Talks New Music And Being Bamboozled By The Industry

April 26, 2013  |  

It’s like 1998 all over again, because everywhere we turn there’s Lauryn Hill again. However, we’re not getting her back in the way we were hoping for, as she’s come out of her sabbatical to do some touring (to not so rave reviews) and to battle legal troubles. In the midst of all that, the singer took to her Tumblr yesterday to speak on the reports that while trying to stay out of jail, she had inked a new record deal with Sony, to also announce that new music will be on the way, and to of course speak on how she had been bamboozled by the industry:

It has been reported that I signed a new record deal, and that I did this to pay taxes. Yes, I have recently entered into an agreement with Sony Worldwide Entertainment, to launch a new label, on which my new music will be released. And yes, I am working on new music.

I’ve remained silent, after an extensive healing process. This has been a 10+ year battle, for a long time played out behind closed doors, but now in front of the public eye. This is an old conflict between art and commerce… free minds, and minds that are perhaps overly tethered to structure. This is about inequity, and the resulting disenfranchisement caused by it. I’ve been fighting for existential and economic freedom, which means the freedom to create and live without someone threatening, controlling, and/or manipulating the art and the artist, by tying the purse strings.

It took years for me to get out of the ‘parasitic’ dynamic of my youth, and into a deal that better reflects my true contribution as an artist, and (purportedly) gives me the control necessary to create a paradigm suitable for my needs. I have been working towards this for a long time, not just because of my current legal situation, but because I am an artist, I love to create, and I need the proper platform to do so.

The nature of my new business venture, as well as the dollar amount reported, was inaccurate, only a portion of the overall deal. Keep in mind, my past recordings have sold over 50,000,000 units worldwide, earning the label a tremendous amount of money (a fraction of which actually came to me).

Only a completely complicated set of traps, manipulations, and inequitable business arrangements could put someone who has accomplished the things that I have, financially in need of anything. I am one artist who finds value in openly discussing the dynamics within this industry that force artists to compromise or distort themselves and what they do, rather than allowing them to make the music that people need. There are volumes that could (and will) be said.


Very interesting. This lack of creative control and behind-the-scenes manipulation going on in the industry in the quest for money is something Lauryn has been vocal about in the last few years, and we’re glad to hear that she has received a deal where she will be free to get back in the lab and create what she wants and say what she wants. But the question is, are you still down for some new music by Lauryn Hill?

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