Lauryn Hill has "remained patient and quiet for a very long time, allowing people to talk, speculate, and project" for decades amid various allegations and slander in regards to her tour performances (or lack thereof), and, especially, the rumor about her stealing The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.
"The arrogance of presumption that allows someone to think that they could have all the facts about another person’s life and experience, is truly and remarkably… presumptuous. People can sometimes confuse kindness for weakness, and silence for weakness as well. When this happens, I have to speak up."
"The Miseducation was the first time I worked with musicians outside of the Fugees whose 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. In hindsight, I would have handled it differently for the removal of any confusion. And I have handled it differently since, I’m clear and I make clear before someone walks in the door what I am and am not looking for... I was looking for a similar natural chemistry with new musicians that I’d had with the Fugees and Miseducation bands. I’d literally grown up with some of those musicians. That isn’t easy to find. I may have been inclusive, but these are my songs."
"I take rehearsal seriously, I take performance seriously, I take my art seriously. My particular preparation process suits me. To each his or her own. My goal is to feel confident and free on stage.
"I remix my songs live because I haven’t released an album in several years. There’s a ton of backstory as to why, but there’s no way I could continue to play the same songs over and over as long as I’ve been performing them without some variation and exploration. I’m not a robot. My performances are heartfelt and authentic, not me just going through the motions.
"And the myth that I’m not allowed to play the original versions of my songs is…a myth (anyone who’s seen my current show knows this).
"Me being late to shows 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, etc. 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."
"What about the image of Black women in hip hop? When exposure and sexualization of the Black female body was the standard, SOMEONE stood up and represented a different image entirely, giving a generation of young women options and alternatives of self-representation. #AMNESIA. [So] yes, Ms. Hill was absolutely a requirement. I was young, Black and female. Not everyone can work for and give the appropriate respect to a person in that package and in charge. It was important, especially then, for that to be revealed early."
"No matter how incredible the musicians who play with me are, MY name is on the marquee. The expectation to make it all come together is on me. The risk and the financial losses are on me. Hence, MY VIBE, though not the only consideration, is the priority... The album inspired many people, from all walks of life, because of its radical(intense) will to live and to express Love. I appreciate everyone who was a part of it, in any and every capacity. It wouldn’t have existed the way that it did without the involvement, skill, hard work, and talents of the artists/musicians and technicians who were a part of it, but it still required my vision, my passion, my faith, my will, my soul, my heart, and my story."
Read the full commentary here.
(Photo: Sean Gardner/FilmMagic)