Five Things XXL Learned From Lauryn Hill's Open Letter to Her Fans


Lauryn Hill may not be an avid performer these days, but the former Fugees singer/rapper's creative juices are still flowing. Case and point—the nearly 1500-word open-letter L-Boogie wrote to her fans via her Tumblr page over the weekend, explaining everything from her departure from the mainstream shortly after her 1998 hit debut album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, to why she didn't file taxes for three years.

Taking into consideration the length of the written explanation, XXL decided to do the hard work, reading and dissecting the letter in order to give readers a condensed break down. Everything is everything. —Gina Montana

Lauryn Hill Thinks The Music Industry Suppress Artists

L.A. Rising

“For the past several years, I have remained what others would consider underground... I began to require growth and more equitable treatment, but was met with resistance. I entered into my craft full of optimism (which I still possess), but immediately saw the suppressive force with which the system attempts to maintain [its] control over a given paradigm."

Lauryn Hill Saw the Potentially Devastating Effects of the Music Industry

Lauryn Hill In Concert At The Red Rock Casino

"I’ve seen people promote addiction, use sabotage, black listing, media bullying and any other coercion technique they could, to prevent artists from knowing their true value, or exercising their full power. These devices of control, no matter how well intentioned (or not), can have a devastating outcome on the lives of people, especially creative types who must grow and exist within a certain environment and according to a certain pace, in order to live and create optimally."

Lauryn Hill Decided She Needed Out the Music Industry


"So I left a more mainstream and public life, in order to wean both myself, and my family, away from a lifestyle that required distortion and compromise as a means for maintaining it... When one has a prolific creative output like I did/do, and is then forced to stop, the effects can be dangerous both emotionally and psychologically, both for the artist and those in need of that resource. It was critically important that I find a suitable pathway within which to exist, without being distorted or economically strong-armed."

Lauryn Hill Recognized Her Departure Will Have Others Making Assumptions

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"During this period of crisis, much was said about me, both slanted and inaccurate, by those who had become dependent on my creative force, yet unwilling to fully acknowledge the importance of my contribution, nor compensate me equitably for it. This was done in an effort to smear my public image, in order to directly affect my ability to earn independently of this system."

Lauryn Hill Says Her Need to Step Away is What Caused Her Not to File Taxes


"I conveyed all of this when questioned as to why I did not file taxes during this time period. Obviously, the danger I faced was not accepted as reasonable grounds for deferring my tax payments, as authorities, who despite being told all of this, still chose to pursue action against me, as opposed to finding an alternative solution... As this, and other areas of issue are resolved and set straight, I am able to get back to doing what I should be doing, the way it should be done. This is part of that process."