Lauryn Hill may be in a boatload of legal troubles, but that isn't stopping her from finally making new music -- and it's time for the world to rejoice.
Hill posted a statement to her official Tumblr account, announcing that she's back in the studio for the first time since 1998's iconic "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill." The singer's only album since "Miseducation" has been 2002's "MTV Unplugged No. 2.0," recorded live at the MTV Studios in Times Square the previous year. This will mark her first studio material in 15 years, and fans will surely be anxious to lay down a welcome mat for the former Fugees singer, who has steadily grown more eccentric over the past decade.
Hill revealed on Tumblr that she is launching a new record label in conjunction with Sony Worldwide Entertainment as an effort to pay the $504,000 she owes immediately in taxes.
Here's an excerpt of her post:
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.
Legal issues aside, Hill hasn't been totally out of the spotlight since "Miseducation" stormed through the music scene. Her "MTV Unplugged" effort divided the critics who so unanimously praised her debut solo album, with Rolling Stone calling "Unplugged" a "public breakdown," and she has sometimes left her passionate legion of fans disappointed by her public persona.
Hill has toured sporadically, sometimes upsetting crowds by arriving as much as two hours late and performing unrecognizable versions of her hits. In 2010, a new song called "Repercussions" leaked its way online and became her first song to find its way onto the Billboard charts since 1999 -- although it was an admittedly tepid hit, peaking at No. 83 on the R&B charts. In 2011, Hill headlined Coachella and New Orleans' Jazz Fest, and last year she toured with Nas.
It's time to get back on track, Ms. Hill. The world needs "That Thing" you do.