Lauryn Hill Likens the Music Industry to Slavery, Gets Prison Sentence for Tax Evasion
Lauren Hill departs the court on May 6, 2013 in Newark, New Jersey. Hill plead guilty to tax evasion charges in June 2012 for failure to pay federal taxes on $1.8 million earned from 2005-2007. Getty Images)more pics »On Monday, performer Lauryn Hill was sentenced to three months in prison for failure to pay taxes on $1.8 million in earnings over the course of three years. The critically lauded singer had pleaded guilty in 2012 to the charges, explaining in a lengthy Tumblr post that she had chosen to withdraw from society, rejecting a "climate of hostility, false entitlement, manipulation, racial prejudice, sexism and ageism."
Hill, who also faces three months under house arrest and a $60,000 fine, told the court that she was essentially a slave to the music industry.
"I was put into a system I didn’t know the nature of. … I’m a child of former slaves. I got into an economic paradigm and had that imposed on me,” Hill stated. “I sold 50 million units … now I’m up here paying a tax debt. If that’s not likened to slavery, I don’t know what is.”
A few days ago, Hill released a new song, "Neurotic Society (Compulsory Mix)," although it was clear she didn't actually want to.
"Here is a link to a piece that I was ‘required’ to release immediately, by virtue of the impending legal deadline," Lauryn wrote on her official Tumblr. "I love being able to reach people directly, but in an ideal scenario, I would not have to rush the release of new music… but the message is still there. In light of Wednesday’s tragic loss (of former label mate Chris Kelly), I am even more pressed to YELL this to a multitude that may not understand the cost of allowing today’s unhealthy paradigms to remain unchecked!"