Following Robert Glasper‘s scathing criticism of Ms. Lauryn Hill during a recent radio interview, the Miseducation artist penned an essay to respond to allegations Glasper made about her, most notably that she stole music from other musicians for seminal debut solo album. Titled “Addressing Robert Glasper and other common misconceptions about me (in no particular order),” the essay not only responds to Glasper’s comments but concerns as to why she’s always late to her own concerts, as well as her approach to making music.
Ms. Hill doesn’t seem to clear up much in the essay. At the very least, it’s a response to how people are viewing and commenting on her legacy, especially considering the recent 20-year anniversary of Miseducation. Since she hasn’t done a proper interview in some time, the essay offers something of an update on the artist while giving her the opportunity to speak on other miscellaneous topics like if she hates white people or not.
Here are five very important topics Ms. Lauryn Hill addresses in her essay.
1. She doesn’t hate white people.
Apparently, an urban legend surrounding Ms. Hill is that she hates white people, which she takes time in her essay to address. She clarifies that the rumor isn’t true but she “does despise a system of entitlement and oppression set up to exploit people who are different.”
“My true white friends and colleagues and I discuss these schemes and machinations, and the distrust that people of color would naturally have toward such a system and towards those who agree with it,” she writes. “We don’t run from those conversations, we run into them, which is why I can call them friends and colleagues.”
2. Her audition process goes beyond just how good a musician is.
“An audition or meeting could be about whether we vibe well, whether they understood my particular musical vernacular or direction at the time,” Ms. Hill writes. “I could have a jazz beast on keys, who couldn’t necessarily play reggae or some other musical style I also incorporated into my performances.”
“I’m attracted to musicians that are open and excited to try new things. When people think they already know what needs to be known and aren’t interested in exploring what I’m into, that’s fine, but it doesn’t work for my band,” she adds. “My standards are too high, and my process too idiosyncratic, not to work with people who really want to be there. When I don’t have that, I keep searching until I find them.”
3. The myth that she’s not allowed to play the original versions of her songs is exactly that — a myth.
“I remix my songs live because I haven’t released an album in several years,” Ms. Hill writes. “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.” She elaborates further on remixing her music, saying she’ll “revise and rearrange them according to what I’m feeling in that moment.”
“I can’t imagine why that would be a foreign concept to anyone who appreciates jazz,” she concludes.
4. She describes her approach to making music as “non-traditional.”
Ms. Hill compares her approach to music like that of hip-hop, in that it’s more “a product of my heart, soul, and experience gained through doing, than something I was taught in a formal school setting.” She also speaks on playing guitar and she learned the instrument “without any real lessons or introduction.”
“I play in an unorthodox manner and use it as a writing tool. Couldn’t or didn’t tune my own guitar? That sounds like an assumption,” she writes.
5. She’s late to her shows because she insists “on things being right.”
“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,” Hill writes. “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,” she adds. Unfortunately, as multiple reports have shown, these late starts result in fans having an unenjoyable experience seeing Ms. Hill live.