Lauryn Hill Addresses Claims of Stealing Music, Mistreating Musicians
"You may be able to make suggestions, but you can't write FOR me"
Published Aug 28, 2018After some of Lauryn Hill's recent tour stops left fans less than impressed, keyboardist Robert Glasper claimed that Hill's questionable behaviour also included "stealing music" and mistreating musicians. Now, Hill has refuted those claims in a lengthy essay.
In a post on Medium, Hill addresses both Glasper's claims and "other common misconceptions" about her career and art in a series of bullet points.
On Glasper's claims of her "stealing music," Hill wrote, "You may be able to make suggestions, but you can't write FOR me. I am the architect of my creative expression. No decisions are made without me. I hire master builders and masterful artisans and technicians who play beautifully, lend their technical expertise, and who translate the language that I provide into beautifully realized music."
She added, "The Miseducation was the first time I worked with musicians outside of the Fugees who's report and working relationship was clear. In an effort to create the same level of comfort, I may not have established the necessary boundaries and may have been more inviting than I should have been."
Responding to Glasper's claim that she had cut the pay of her backing band the day before a performance, Hill wrote, "Don't have the details or recollection of cutting the band's pay in half. If fees had been negotiated and confirmed without my knowledge, I may have asked for them to be adjusted. But I would never just cut a musician's pay arbitrarily unless I had a legitimate reason."
Hill also addressed Glasper directly, writing, "I'm confused as to why such a principled musician, who thought I 'stole' from his friends, would show up to work for me anyway. 🤔 If that was hypocrisy or opportunism instead of genuine interest, it would further explain why an artist would feel the need to put his or her guard up."
She added, "Who are you to say I didn't do enough? Most people are probably just hearing your name for the first time because you dropped MINE in an interview, controversially. Taking nothing away from your talent, but this is a fact. The Miseducation was my only solo studio album, but it certainly wasn't the only good thing I did."
Hill also delved into her history of being late to her own shows, arguing, that it "isn't because I don't respect my fans or their time, but the contrary, It can be argued that I care too much, and insist on things being right."
"I like to switch my show up regularly, change arrangements, add new songs," she explained. "This often leads to long sound checks, which leads to doors opening late, which leads to the show getting a late start. This element of perfectionism is about wanting the audience to experience the very best and most authentic musical experience they can from what I do."
You can read Hill's entire response here.
In late July, Hill cancelled a handful of dates on her recent anniversary tour due to "unforeseen production issues."