Lauryn Hill is one of the most fascinating artists of our time. Her brilliant first album mesmerized us just as much as her personal and financial troubles confused us. After a hiatus from music, rants that characterized her as unstable, six children and documented tax woes, it felt as if the brown beauty with the piercing doe-eyes we initially fell in love with was gone for good.
Her die-hard fans, like myself, lobbied for another album amidst fear that her music may never be the same. And for better or worse, we got our wish.
The singer confirmed on Tumblr that new music is on the horizon, writing:
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.
She also shed light on the politics of the recording industry and how she ever only received a fraction of the money she made from her previous label:
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.
Lauryn Hill has finally found peace with a business arrangement with Sony, which pleases me and surely, a legion of her fans. We can only hope that she’s in a good place emotionally and mentally that she can pursue her art on her own terms and create the music we’ve all been longing for.