Lauryn Hill has hit back at claims suggesting she “stole” the music on her critically acclaimed solo album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.
The former Fugees singer/rapper was blasted by jazz pianist and producer Robert Glasper earlier this month after he reiterated lawsuit claims made by her former studio band New Ark that she failed to give credit to the writers and musicians behind the landmark 1998 album.
Finally responding to his comments, in which he claimed she had stolen “all of my friends’ music” and had “got a big hand off of music (she) didn’t even write (sic)”, Lauryn insisted that while the group’s work ethic might have been “inclusive”, the songs on the album belonged to her.
“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,” the 43-year-old explained in a lengthy response on Medium.com on Monday (27Aug18).
“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 may have been inclusive, but these are my songs.”
Referencing how Robert worked for her briefly in 2008, she added: “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.”
Lauryn was also forced to deny claims that she was notoriously harsh on her touring unit after Robert insisted she used to change the set of their show daily, failed to show up to rehearsals and regularly slashed staff pay.
“Don’t have the details or recollection of cutting the band’s pay in half,” she stated. “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.”
Lauryn is currently celebrating the 20th anniversary of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill with a special tour, although she recently cancelled a string of dates due to “production issues” following fan complaints about a July gig in Toronto, Canada.