Lauryn Hill

Lauryn Hill Writes Letter Explaining Her Situation From Taxes To New Record Deal

(AllHipHop News) Lauryn Hill’s personal and financial life have once again become the subject of much discussion and scrutiny by the public. There have been reports about her taxes woes, her living arrangements and a new record deal that should produce a new album.

But, the singer maintains that there is much to explain and so she has written an open letter revealing her side partially. She says that some of the dollar amounts surrounding a new deal with Sony are inaccurate, in addition to offering context to the deal based on the units she’s sold in her illustrious career.

RELATED: Lauryn Hill Avoids Jail With $1 Million Deal With Sony

The letter is below:

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.


  • blackie_chan

    Did yall know that the IRS is NOT a branch of the u.s. government?

    • Eli Pinilla

      Yes….Niether is the federal reserve….

      • brotha_man

        come on blackie that is basic government knowledge. its an agencies in the executive branch controlled by the department of treasury.

        or was that a rhetorical question?

      • jay son

        ur an idiot. The U.S has no control over the federal reserve nor any involvment. Smh. School yourself

      • brotha_man

        Yes, it is part of the Treasury Department.

        The Internal Revenue Service is a bureau of the Department of the Treasury under the immediate direction of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue. The Commissioner has general superintendence of the assessment and collection of all taxes imposed by any law providing internal revenue. The Internal Revenue Service is the agency by which these functions are performed. Consequently the IRS is accountable to the Department of Treasury, and can be audited by that branch of the goverment. The individual who has direct authority over the IRS, and thus direct ability to hold the agency accountable is the Commissioner of Internal Revenue. The office of commissioner was created in 1862 by the Revenue Act of 1862, as passed by congress.

      • brotha_man

        my bad responsible

    • there are 3 branches executive,legislative, and judicial so yeah.. it’s not a branch.It is an agency of the executive branch though….#TheMoreYouKnow

      • Agency of the International Monetary Fund, IMF. **

      • idk about that bruh.

      • Understandably so, it only works because the idea that the government doesn’t print its own money is so outlandish, it’s hard to accept.

      • The U.S gov’t controls it though and makes most of the profits; if you read up on how the Fed works and who actually owns it (other banks do as a type of membership) , you’ll realize that it’s not a conspiracy. I think it ties into laissez faire, regulation not control. IMF and Federal Reserve are separate entities. if you provider with credible sources that aren’t spewing Jew hate to get the point across I’ll read the info and discuss. I’m into that type of thing

      • Not Jew…Israeli…but who runs the IMF & who owns the Fed Reserve?

        The international banking cartel…..The 3 city states or ring of the empire:

        Vatican = Religious

        Washington, DC = Military

        London = Banking

        Far from laissez faire, more like exploit & bloodsuck.

      • what are your sources though?

    • Yep!

      14Th amendment slavery!

    • Really?

      Not sure what your talking about. You don’t have to be a branch for the u.s government to be a federal employee/agent. Also there are only three branches to the u.s. government. Judicial, Legislative, and the executive.

  • Guest

    Oh shut up u washed up ,weak crybaby

    • brotha_man

      when lauryn starts making music it will spell the end for a lot of female artist. (I.e Nikki) she is far from washed up

      • at least nikki stays consistent and knows how to handle her buisness, like it or not. lauren is self-righteous f*up who cant get her shit straight but keeps preachin to the choir. give me a break noones tryna hear her cop outs.

      • brotha_man

        really??? she bout to get kicked off american idol for staying consistent one day she wearing rainbow bright, the next she trying to go with the natural look. nikki cant touch lauryn with inspector gadget arms

      • sorry brothaman, i wasnt talkn about her clothes; rather look into her contracts,publishing and royalties, then talk. I am not a fan of either one, but since u decide to compare, buisnesswise, lauren is to nicki what iylana is to oprah lmao

      • brotha_man

        you dnt know lauryns business she got 6 kids been in and out the music game for we will say since 2004- mtv unplugged dropped in ’02. before the crazy came out she had successful albums and was a rising movie star.

        As far as nikki she has created an alter ego that allows her to capitalize on endorsements and other ventures (i.e american idol). but lets be real outside of that wayne probably got the royalities. so music business ill give nikki the win.

        but if lauryn applies herself and writes better music, and she will also prob write for other artist. so the potential is still in lauryns favor. they say in 2005 and 2007 lauryn had a annual income of 1.5 million from movie and music royalties. as far as endorsements nikki wins all day. but if lauryn on her meds… out nikki game over.

        Lauryn would never rock that shit nikki rocks. do u even know what percentage nikki owns (i.e. publishing, contracts, and royalities). I bet lil wayne is laughing counting drake, tyga, and nikki $$$$$E

      • ‘if’ , ‘probably’ and ‘might’ are keywords in ur post. we are talking the actual present moment. know all to well about lauren, shes from my neighbourhood; way before miseducation and fake jamaican shit wen she was goin for hollywood w whoopi so chill out. she failed cuz shes self righteous .

      • brotha_man

        So she failed because she is self righteous?…so having principles and living by them makes you a failure??? that actually makes

      • having principles and living by them makes u righteous. self righteous means condescending, acting superior to the rest etc. ask the producers she never paid for her debut, or black girls she was callin hos for wearing weave while shes sleeping with her boss, and two brothers at the same time. seee?

      • brotha_man

        self rightous

        1. Piously sure of one’s own righteousness; moralistic.
        2. Exhibiting pious self-assurance

        Devoutly religious.
        Making a hypocritical display of virtue.

        A rule or standard, especially of good behavior.
        The collectivity of moral or ethical standards or judgments: a decision based on principle rather than expediency.
        A fixed or predetermined policy or mode of action.
        A basic or essential quality or element determining intrinsic nature or characteristic behavior: the principle of self-preservation.

      • Making a hypocritical display of virtue


      • G

        Lets be real, Once lauryn starts droppin music, it will be overlooked. She cant touch garbaj rite now.. She washed

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  • $11625525

    That last paragraph… That right there is the reason some artists end up back on the block hustling death (see the recent story on Shyheim getting busted for heroin and fire arm possession, for example).

    • Its a matter of he who pays the piper dictates the tune. The record label still owns an artist to a certain degree. Some peeps say artist have sold out without knowing the whole truth behind it, I’m glad this will give a clearer understanding as to what an artist goes through after that Million $ deal.

    • Eli Pinilla

       “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.”

      6 kids and no new material will make someone as acomplished as her in need of money. Not to mention, she owes taxes on residual money coming in from past albums. She hasnt sold a new record since 98. But still sees money from it but feels she doesnt have to pay.

      • $11625525

        I doubt her kids aren’t getting some of that Marley Money, and she’s not exactly one to be living that life, Lauren is more of an earthly woman. I think it’s the misunderstanding of how much you sell is actually yours that caught her out, and part of her not recording was rebellion against the system. That’s the Rastafarian way, I know because I have grown up around enough Rasta’s my whole life; proper Rasta’s, not them Euro dreads or Fashion Dreads.

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  • Eli Pinilla

    Save the message for the album……aint nobody telll u not to pay your taxes. I respect lauren hill and think she is goat female mc…but stfu and stop making excuses for u not paying your taxes.

  • Si

    Dear Lauryn
    In response to your “open letter” slash unsolicited diatribe – what a load of self-indulgent tripe. You failed to pay taxes that you were legally obliged to pay. The “man” is not persecuting you nor is your quasi-intellectual rhetoric fooling anyone. In colloquial terms, you done fucked up and now, you have to pay what you owe.

    Whether through poor financial advice or another factor, this is the unescapable fact. If some of the people here failed to pay their taxes, they would not have the luxury of a second chance, whereas musicians like to make a big song and dance (pun intended) about how unfairly they have been treated.

    You signed a record deal which gave you a fraction of the profits? Welcome to the real world. Almost every artist around has a similar deal and most are not able to then negotiate a better solo deal such as the one you later signed to release “The Miseducation…”

    It is quite telling that her open letter makes reference to inequitable business dealings etc. and the moral of the story is – read the contract! No-one coerced her into doing anything. In all likelihood, she saw dollar signs, took the bait laid in front of her by advisers and jumped into everything two-footed without due thought as to where it would take it. Again, in normal speak, youse a sucker.
    Yours sincerely,
    Someone who pays their taxes without fail and does not make excuses for their own failings.

    • RMfag

      We grow, but how do you know what her story is.

      • who cares, its about what u can prove. she constantly plays a victim. condescending dumb ghetto chick on a high horse lol

    • She was younger then and probably spent the money as soon as she got it whilst living the high life and assuming that there was more money on it’s way.

      Many valid points there though Si.

      • brotha_man

        i thought she originally stated she didnt pay taxes cause she is “anti government” not because she was tricking her money. i’m sure she aint hurting financially thats why the judge disagreed with her arraignments to pay back the taxes she owed, but couldnt do anything about it cause she has the paper and a legit financial plan. she is just rebelling because she feels she got screwed. she was young, dumb and wyclef played her and the other fugees members. According to other article she has the money to pay the taxes and then some

      • sorry hun, but it was her who played wyclef, its y she is where shes at now lol

      • brotha_man

        where is she now????

      • broke, facing jail with 6 kids by two brothers??

      • no. she knew what she was doin, she was runnin 3 companies and cakin off while not payin tax. stop makin excuses this broad has kids by brothers cmon !!!!

      • I never knew that.

    • ^^Brainwashed Sheep**

  • sixnoxrecords

    Ms. Hill, your letter only confirms what everyone suspects. That you’re batshit crazy.

  • ye she is coming out with a new album all of a sudden wen she has tax problems

    • G

      exactly.. fake shyt

    • christopher russell

      good point Jamal

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  • Look at these bootsy hatin comments on here from people who never been in Lauryn Hill’s situation. I’mma tell ya’ll like this: I went to her concert w/ Nas in November & she had new material; so how ya’ll gon’ say she hasn’t made any new material? Somebody dropped a dime on her rhyme books to ya’ll? GTFOH, I wish she’d also speak on the dynamic of spectators and Uncle Toms who would rather insult the person who doesn’t want to break the IRS off, than the “parasitic” system itself. They musta wrote her rhymes. The attitude of ppl (hella complacent & brainwashed) is the REASON the parasites called the IRS and US Govt continue to FEED off people. Work em’ half to death, take their money; we pay police salary & in return they kill one of us every 36 hours (read the Every 36 Hours report). Capitalism and Imperialism will ALWAYS be our #1 enemy & the corporate media IS the reason you don’t hear new material from the Lauryn Hills, but let Wakka Flocka drop a new song..smh. Ya’ll really think the system is right & the people are wrong.

    • ^^This

    • Q.

      The house slave will fight to the death to protect its “massa.” #herdmentality

    • Matt Swan

      I see you complaing about a “broken system”, but at no point do you mention a sensible solution to the problem. Simply put; you work you pay taxes. If you are lazy and don’t want to work, then you collect checks and complain just as much. The tax system needs a serious overhaul, but to say capitalism is an enemy? GTFOH. Seriously. Go. You want marxism and communism? Well thats working REAL well in China, Cuba, and North Korea where the lines between poverty and prosperity are blantantly wide. You think this Country sucks, then take your ass where you think it’ll be better served. Been around this world and haven’t seen one yet. And Lauryn wasn’t turning down the money she was making was she? She wasn’t living a life of poverty at all. She just didn’t want to pay up what she owed, just like the rest of us, but she got caught. And using this artistic expression and opression ish, it didn’t stop her from collecting money those years in question did it? She had plenty of chances to make money and pay her taxes or get a good tax attorney to “fix” her taxes for her. Bottom line is paying taxes isn’t a black or white thing, rich, poor or middle class; we all are going to pay and this we have to accept. BUT if your tax preparer is any good, they will find those loopholes to either increase your refund, or lessen the burden on what you have to pay.

  • christopher russell

    Bullshit. Lauryn Hill is and never was God, she should not be judged as such, but she had the ears of women and men for years. We waited and waited for more music, more anything from her. Now, I’m no music industry guy with years of experience, but even I know Ms. Hill could have gotten any deal, with royalties on the table, for any price she asked for at one point.
    She ultimately chose to be a recluse, to keep her “artistic freedom” and integrity. Lauryn, you make it sound so miserable, like you had no control over your own life or situation. Didn’t you choose this BS you’re bitching about now? Millions of people begged for your return, but your decision was already made. I really don’t give a damn if you comeback or not, but take some responsibility for Christ’s sake.