Lauryn Hill’s Tumblr Letter on the Music Business


Several newspapers have reported that Lauryn Hill was in trouble with the government for not filing taxes from 2005-2007. While I do not know (nor care) about her financial status and her tax paying habits, I found Hill’s response to the charges quite compelling. In a first public statement in years, Hill describes the control, manipulation and exploitation of the music industry and her efforts to get away from it all. Here’s the letter published on her new Tumblr account.

It was reported yesterday that Ms. Lauryn Hill has been charged with three counts of misdemeanor failure to file taxes.  These charges were incurred for the years of 2005-2007, during a time in which Ms. Hill had removed herself and her family from society, in order to keep them safe, healthy, and free from danger.  In response to these charges, Ms. Hill has issued the following statement:

“For the past several years, I have remained what others would consider underground.  I did this in order to build a community of people, like-minded in their desire for freedom and the right to pursue their goals and lives without being manipulated and controlled by a media protected military industrial complex with a completely different agenda.  Having put the lives and needs of other people before my own for multiple years, and having made hundreds of millions of dollars for certain institutions, under complex and sometimes severe circumstances, I began to require growth and more equitable treatment, but was met with resistance.  I entered into my craft full of optimism (which I still possess), but immediately saw the suppressive force with which the system attempts to maintain it’s control over a given paradigm.  I’ve seen people promote addiction, use sabotage, black listing, media bullying and any other coercion technique they could, to prevent artists from knowing their true value, or exercising their full power.  These devices of control, no matter how well intentioned (or not), can have a devastating outcome on the lives of people, especially creative types who must grow and exist within a certain environment and according to a certain pace, in order to live and create optimally.

I kept my life relatively simple, even after huge successes, but it became increasingly obvious that certain indulgences and privileges were expected to come at the expense of my free soul, free mind, and therefore my health and integrity.  So I left a more mainstream and public life, in order to wean both myself, and my family, away from a lifestyle that required distortion and compromise as a means for maintaining it.  During this critical healing time, there were very few people accessible to me who had not already been seduced or affected by this machine, and therefore who could be trusted to not try and influence or coerce me back into a dynamic of compromise. Individual growth was expected to take place unnaturally, or stagnated outright, subject to marketing and politics.  Addressing critical issues like pop culture cannibalism or its manipulation of the young at the expense of everything, was frowned upon and discouraged by limiting funding, or denying it outright.  When one has a prolific creative output like I did/do, and is then forced to stop, the effects can be dangerous both emotionally and psychologically, both for the artist and those in need of that resource.  It was critically important that I find a suitable pathway within which to exist, without being distorted or economically strong-armed.

During this period of crisis, much was said about me, both slanted and inaccurate, by those who had become dependent on my creative force, yet unwilling to fully acknowledge the importance of my contribution, nor compensate me equitably for it.  This was done in an effort to smear my public image, in order to directly affect my ability to earn independently of this system.  It took a long time to locate and nurture a community of people strong enough to resist the incredibly unhealthy tide, and more importantly see through it.  If I had not been able to make contact with, and establish this community, my life, safety and freedom, would have been directly affected as well as the lives, safety and freedom of my family.  Failure to create a non toxic, non exploitative environment was not an option.

As my potential to work, and therefore earn freely, was being threatened, I did whatever needed to be done in order to insulate my family from the climate of hostility, false entitlement, manipulation, racial prejudice, sexism and ageism that I was surrounded by.  This was absolutely critical while trying to find and establish a new and very necessary community of healthy people, and also heal and detoxify myself and my family while raising my young children.

There were no exotic trips, no fleet of cars, just an all out war for safety, integrity, wholeness and health, without mistreatment denial, and/or exploitation.  In order to liberate myself from those who found it ok to oppose my wholeness, free speech and integral growth by inflicting different forms of punitive action against it, I used my resources to sustain our safety and survival until I was able to restore my ability to earn outside of it!

When artists experience danger and crisis under the effects of this kind of insidious manipulation, everyone easily accepts that there was something either dysfunctional or defective with the artist, rather than look at, and fully examine, the system and its means and policies of exploiting/’doing business’.  Not only is this unrealistic, it is very dark in its motivation, conveniently targeting the object of their hero worship by removing any evidence that they ‘needed’ or celebrated this very same resource just years, months or moments before.  Since those who believe they need a hero/celebrity outnumber the actual heroes/celebrities, people feel safe and comfortably justified in numbers, committing egregious crimes in the name of the greater social ego.  Ironically diminishing their own true hero-celebrity nature in the process.

It was this schism and the hypocrisy, violence and social cannibalism it enabled, that I wanted and needed to be freed from, not from art or music, but the suppression/repression and reduction of that art and music to a bottom line alone, without regard for anything else.  Over-commercialization and its resulting restrictions and limitations can be very damaging and distorting to the inherent nature of the individual.  I Love making art, I Love making music, these are as natural and necessary for me almost as breathing or talking.  To be denied the right to pursue it according to my ability, as well as be properly acknowledged and compensated for it, in an attempt to control, is manipulation directed at my most basic rights!  These forms of expression, along with others, effectively comprise my free speech!  Defending, preserving, and protecting these rights are critically important, especially in a paradigm where veiled racism, sexism, ageism, nepotism, and deliberate economic control are still blatant realities!!!

Learning from the past, insulating friends and family from the influence of external manipulation and corruption, is far more important to me than being misunderstood for a season!  I did not deliberately abandon my fans, nor did I deliberately abandon any responsibilities, but I did however put my safety, health and freedom and the freedom, safety and health of my family first over all other material concerns!  I also embraced my right to resist a system intentionally opposing my right to whole and integral survival.

I conveyed all of this when questioned as to why I did not file taxes during this time period.  Obviously, the danger I faced was not accepted as reasonable grounds for deferring my tax payments, as authorities, who despite being told all of this, still chose to pursue action against me, as opposed to finding an alternative solution.

My intention has always been to get this situation rectified.  When I was working consistently without being affected by the interferences mentioned above, I filed and paid my taxes.  This only stopped when it was necessary to withdraw from society, in order to guarantee the safety and well-being of myself and my family.

As this, and other areas of issue are resolved and set straight, I am able to get back to doing what I should be doing, the way it should be done.  This is part of that process.  To those supporters who were told that I abandoned them, that is untrue.  I abandoned greed, corruption, and compromise, never you, and never the artistic gifts and abilities that sustained me.”

– Source: Tumblr


As it is always the case when celebrities reject and pull away from the industry, Hill has been often portrayed as crazy and unstable in the media. However, those who know about the dark side of the industry know that Hill did the only SANE thing one can do in her situation: Get out. I guess we know what the following song is about.


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237 Comments on "Lauryn Hill’s Tumblr Letter on the Music Business"

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Anyone who can read knows these aren't the ramblings of a crazy person. This is the most insightful, eloquent piece I've read in years.

Now she's being sentenced to counseling for her alternative views. To paraphrase Dave Chappelle, 'calling someone crazy is the quickest way to discredit them.' Misuse of the criminal justice system was a tactic used by COINTELPRO to "neutralize" the Panthers in the '60s. Tupac was nearly ruined by fabricated r**e accusations (of which he was found innocent) before being gunned down. Looks like they're still using the same tactics to silence dissidents today.

If history is any indication, Ms. Hill better pipe down before she gets suicided.

How many artists have we watched self-destruct before our eyes (Elvis, Whitney, MJ, Britney Spears, etc, etc)? How many of them are still living to tell about it? Call her what you may, but never lose sight of the larger picture.

The evils of the industry. I am a person who experienced a some what similar story. From the onset of my career, industry professionals and policy makers insisted on changing my conscious message to that of drugs, alcohol, gang activity and irresponsible behavior. I was told before ever signing a contract that I had to comply or I will not have a career. This happened over 20 years ago and I chose to walk away. Now I have the opportunity to release my album "Platinum Shackles" on iTunes May 17th, 2013. For those of you who don't know the industry, allow me to sum up it's unseen agenda as was told to me by numerous entertainment lawyers. "Your music is deep and and thought provoking. We don't want people to think, we want them to use drugs, drink alcohol and buy records." You have been sold poison which will eventually… Read more »

The IRS, Federal Reserve, and therefore, taxes, are unconstitutional! F**k the system. I love this song, and I love what you do VC – keep up the good work!!!

Love her music. But what a joke she make about payin taxes. She makes millions and does not pay? Oh no that evil music business that made her super rich and famous…poor poor girl. lol

There really is something wrong with her. I heard an interview a couple years ago with Wyclef and he said she was impossible to deal with.

She deserves to be in jail and everything else coming to her. I have never made a lot of money but ive always paid my taxes.

Why does she not mention that she has never stopped doing shows and making money. She gets royalty checks every month from the evil music empire that was out to get her.

Boy, she is saying things without saying. i hope who read this understand what she is saying , really .

Cool story but you still have to pay your taxes!

Taxes?! This woman wont even pay the musicans she hires!

Oh, the irony. It looks like a new contract with sony is going to keep her out of jail. This woman is a joke.

The evil music business just saved her.

Wow that letter is a real doozy. This woman is clearly nuts. Those are some of the craziest excuses I have ever heard for not paying taxes. Have fun in jail.

I guess she did try to get out and after a short period of time she was dragged back into the system. Something similar with Britney, who tried to escape, she made those songs Rebellion,Mona Lisa etc. and they caught her and now she is under MK again. Or maybe she went willingly, but i don't think so. Look what i found on wiki(not the best info source, but it is their official story): "2000–03: self-imposed exile, MTV Unplugged No. 2.0 and Vatican controversy" <- when she tried to get out and then : "2004–09: Fugees, album work, touring and hiatus" & "The 2010s: In January 2010, Hill returned to the live stage" quote: "There are a lot of different creative energies out there right now. I respect the different sounds that I'm hearing. It's been such a long time since I've gotten my voice and my ideas out […]… Read more »

I'm sorry if i made typing or/and grammatical mistakes. English it is not my first language and because of that sometimes I don't realize when I make a mistake.

I hope i am wrong when comes to Ms.Hill.

Freedom for us all!

Damn, she said it the way it is and I applaud her honesty and courage.

What a stupid letter. No where does she give a real reason why she chose to not pay her taxes.

When exactly over the years did she stop doing shows? She just a diva that thinks she doesnt have to pay taxes. Enjoy your time in the slammer.

just confirming what we already know. The mainstream media is part of the machine. thank god for site like these.

There is obviously a lot of truth in what she writes about the music industry, but the overall tone of her writing is, frankly, pretty egotistical.

I bet she had to fork out a lot of money on security from our fellow neighbours who are lost.

Let's hope other artist in all mediums wake up to this madness…. Slowly but surely the sheeps are becoming shepards.

Humanity has a contract or covenant with the lord….if one has "sold" their soul…it can't be don't you can not sell what foes not belong to you…so they merely need to call on their lord and repent the lord will open…his arms and welcome them home like a mothers lost child…..

We should let this be a lesson to us all not to quickly assume that these celebrities are crazy or irrational because of how they are portrayed in the media. It is manipulation. I think of people like Chris Brown who started out as a sweet kid with talent to a violent, heavily tatooed monster.

respect for Lauryn and all the people here talking about whats important.

I am in awe of Lauren's courage to speak out against what some of us still choose not to believe! This stuff is real! I hope we can all see the truth and better yet, help change it!

Very interesting read.

The first few paragraphs I kept flashing on the life and times of Michael Jackson.

My motto?

Never screw w/ the IRS or the DMV…

While all of this SOUNDS good, lets not forget this is the same woman who's been performing (would you consider that withdrawn from society?) and continues to show up over an hour late for her fans, unapologetic, even quoted saying "I know I'm worth the wait". Treats her band members cruel. How you choose to live your life is an entirely separate issue from how you pay your taxes. The behavior she's displayed over recent years embodies the very "diva-like" persona she's claiming to escape. No sympathy here Miss Hill. It's a shame when ego eclipses talent.

I am a buddisist/wiccan who loves Jesus. But I don't think everyone but me and people like me is going to hell. A "christain" is usually a narrow minded bigot and they are ugly people who beleive only people like them, who believe and think they way they do,are people worthy of mercy and love from source or the creator. They knell and worship the wrong God.

I did some googling.. I found this:

Mmm this makes me wonder. Do you people think there was anything weird going on with Lisa Left Eye from TLC?

I love her music. At the Grammy's for Miseducation she said, " I make music for my people." Which didn't impress me at all. If a white person said that I'd be scared. So I'm sorry to say she comes across as a malignant narcissist and someone who has dark fantasies. Yes, she's brilliant but also unhinged. She is not living under an oppressive regime, having her land stolen or watching her children being hacked like a lot of people who are really suffering in the world. She wanted to leave her job, I know she thinks it's her great calling… But it's a damn job. Get a grip people. Get a grip Lauryn. If Nina Simone and Tracy Chapman, who are real trailblazers, can pay their bills why can't she? She is sooooo special??? You're a citizen, pay your damn bills I don't know what's worse, tax evaders or… Read more »

Maybe for my people means her followers? the people who like and appreciate her music?

more proof

Her song "Mr. Intentional" is also very good. As well as her song "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill".

I have never really heard Lauryn Hill's music before. I have to say I downloaded a bunch of her music after reading this article and I am loving it! She is so unique… and awesome!

''You know Im only saying because Im truly genuine, don't be a hard rock when you really are a gem'' <3

On December 13, 2003, Hill made headlines by denouncing "corruption, exploitation, and abuses" in reference to the molestation of boys by Catholic priests in the United States and the cover-up of offenses by Catholic Church officials.[31] The statements were made during a performance at a Christmas benefit concert at the Vatican. Reading from a prepared statement,[31] Hill told the crowd of 7,500: “ I am sorry if I am about to offend some of you. I did not accept my invitation to celebrate with you the birth of Christ. Instead I ask you why you are not in mourning for Him in this place? I want to ask you, what have you got to say about the lives you have broken? What about the families who were expecting God and instead were cheated by the Devil? Who feels sorry for them, the men, women and children damaged psychologically, emotionally and… Read more »
i agree 100% with all the other comments that coincide with the fact that this is all too fishy….. Whitney also disappeared from the media for a long period of time, with the media leaving us just mere knowledge of her 'severe drug addiction' to excuse it… then all of a sudden shes back in the media, year later, shes dead (her tremendous asset being broken and of no use to the elite)…..Now poor laurens getting dragged in 🙁 it has been quoted by Chaka Khan herself on a site, that she was once told "youre worth more dead than you are alive"………All this i believe is for an even more sinister finish: they are clearly creating a strong throne ready for the Antichrist to settle into and start his control, with all these current big artists (and forthcoming) being his right hand men/puppets…. (hence britneys ''im a slave for… Read more »

Yesterday I heard about Beyoncé defendig Lauryn at BET awards, because someone made a joke about her situation. Now, I didn't watch the video, but I thought it was really strange because we all know what Beyoncé is all about. Hope Lauryn Hill is safe. Any thoughts on this?

@ Sandra, U cannot pull out of a satanic contract. It is a binding contract, ever read

"The Devil and Daniel Webster" based on the classic German "Faust" tale? Once u sell ur soul u belong to satan. Many popular artists have lamented that they have "sold their souls and cannot get it back". Eminem is one of them , Kanye West is another. Make no mistake, they do not call satan, "The great prevaricator" or "The Father of Lies" for nothing. I would assume that once u accept to sell ur soul u r outside of God's grace because u have proven irrevoccably that u have no faith in God and have rebuked out Heavenly Father with a finality that defies mercy.."shrugs" But who r we to question the ways of out Lord?

Nope, as long as someone is alive can still amend the damage done. Contracts always have some loose loopholes. You can't change the past, nonetheless you can change the present and the future.

For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Matthew 16:26 kids, Satanic contracts for wealth, fame and fortune have existed since the dawn of time. This is why God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son to Him, since canaanites were putting their own offspring in the fires to gain favor from Molech..I mean, this ain't noting new. I believe this deal was proffered to Lauryn, u have to be at a certain point in terms of fame and fortune to attract this attention, but like Dave Chappelle, she refused. Certainly artists are gauged by how "willing" and how "far" they will go to have it "all" and most celebrities do have an imbalance which dictates the need to be "worshipped" and "adored". I am so glad that Lauryn was… Read more »

@ Nuke, I agree with U, I thought that commentary about Lauryn's financial status was totally uncalled for and triggered suspicion in me as well..Would this have been stated if the artist in question were caucasian? I doubt it.

God Bless Lauryn for the strength of her convictions..

A worthy protest song at long last. It's a worry that having cut loose for so long and successfully, the ratbag mafia are now playing their miserable trump which could see all she has worked so hard to protect destroyed. If there is a symbol of why certain elements posing behind the mask of humanity have to be irradicated for all time, Holly Wood and it's muse-zak whoring psychological warfare machine is it. At least the 'Lauren's' of this awful world will have a sparkling clean conscience and that's the best that any of us can achieve.

crazy people dont use that kind of vocabulary.

That's nice but anyone who has had a spiritual awakening knows you have to be IN the world and not OF it. Pay your taxes, folks, render to Caesar that which is Caesar's and quit using art as an excuse to dodge responsibility.

Lauren, Baby, stay safe!

Hope you will connect with "truther" / "patriot" groups who are seeking liberty and justice for all a little off the beaten path. The old system is corrupt Babylon and is falling.

Your music, along with Bob Marley's and others, have given hope to so many of us–while also challenging us and calling us to a higher consciousness and reality: not delusion, not illusion.

I wonder was the song Tell Him on her Miseducation Album about a man or God. I say that because there are several scripture quotes in the lyrics. And it is the last song on the Album. Also was it her way of disguising a song like that so it would be included in the album. The more I listen and dissect I think she was talking about God. Tell Him lyrics Songwriters: Hill, Lauryn; Let me be patient, let me be kind Make me unselfish without bein' blind Though I may suffer, I'll envy it not And endure what comes, 'cause he's all that I got and tell him Tell him I need him Tell him I love him And it'll be alright And tell him Tell him I need him Tell him I love him It'll be alright Now I may have faith, to make mountains fall But… Read more »

First person I thought of with this is Tom Petty and his Last DJ album a few years ago. He has a song about the industry & their manipulations. It's an absolute slam against the industry. I was pretty surprised he got that album recorded & published, but I'm certainly glad he did.

It's interesting that Ms. Hill said when she was working regularly, she had no problem paying her taxes. Hmmm — is some company withholding money from her? Hope not.

I have always liked Lauryn Hill from day 1! This sistah is awesome, strong, truthful

and God-fearing! As a fellow Christian as Ms. Hill is, I appauld her strength in the

Lord, that is blessing her to open her eyes and call the enemy out just as he is!

Satan, the biggest liar man will ever know! She has courage and faith for here to

successfully express this needed truth! I hope all the people whom she trusted

and possibly loved, who sold her out read her open letter and feel like the dog

crap that they are! Praying for this very intelligent, beautiful sistah! You go girl!

God bless her and protect her babies!

To the love of her music is to appreciate the sounds of the universe God is good so is Ms.Hill

We're in a trance & we don't even know it. We dress to reveal, revel in crude speach, drink, do whatever we think it takes to be relevant, even acting dumb so boys will find us appealing. Through all the videos & movies, cartoons & adverts, magazines & tabloids, we've been & continue to be subtly programmed. The boys themselves have been wired to scoff at or even reject intelligent girls. From this day on, I will make a larger efforts to re-learn the behaviour & attitude that I have learnt

Rocking( "That Thing Doo Wop), when I first heard this song it was all about the beat but now I really appreciate the lyrics…This lady is talented and wise. This song is dedicated to all the "flashing" artists our there, who sold their souls for the here and now, The devil is only about that Thing that thing that thing… *singing* . Be careful. Jesus Christ is still the ONLY way out. "Doo Wop (That Thing)" It's been three weeks since you've been looking for your friend The one you let hit it and never called you again 'Member when he told you he was 'bout the Benjamins You act like you ain't hear him then gave him a little trim To begin, how you think you really gon' pretend Like you wasn't down then you called him again Plus when you give it up so easy you ain't even… Read more »

Check this video out mizz nina's video Take Over. This was before Whitney died. Think the lyrics are a ill bit suspicious. Btw the singer is the daughter of a rich banker in Malaysia, rumoured to be part of the Trilateral commission