Earlier this month, Robert Glasper accused Lauryn Hill of stealing music and mistreating her band. He said, “Miseducation was made by great musicians and producers that I know, personally.” Today, she shared a response to Glasper’s claims in a Medium post titled, “Addressing Robert Glasper and other common misconceptions about me (in no particular order).” She writes in the prelude, “The arrogance of presumption that allows someone to think that they could have all the facts about another person’s life and experience, is truly and remarkably… presumptuous.”
“It’s not completely informed, but he’s entitled to his perception. Context certainly helps though,” reads the first of many bullet points. The following note asserts, “No decisions are made without me. I hire master builders and masterful artisans and technicians who play beautifully, lend their technical expertise, and who translate the language that I provide into beautifully realized music.”
In one bullet, she acknowledges that she may not have set proper boundaries while working with musicians on The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill. “The Miseducation was the first time I worked with musicians outside of the Fugees who’s report and working relationship was clear. In an effort to create the same level of comfort,” she explains.
“I have come across the occasional musician who thinks they already know what I want, feelings and egos can be easily bruised when you tell them they actually don’t,” she writes “I am never trying to intentionally hurt anyone’s feelings btw, but when people insist that they know you and don’t, you may have to be equally as firm to demonstrate otherwise.”
Hill denies accusations of cutting band members pay: “In 2008, I had only a young man helping me and my Mother, after disbanding my former support staff. No idea why any musician would have had knowledge of what I was being paid, not sure what he’s saying is accurate. Don’t have the details or recollection of cutting the band’s pay in half. 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. There are artists who do cut pay though, James Brown was notorious for docking musicians if they did something he didn’t like, I’m sure there are others.”
Several times in the post, she reiterates hiring musicians to perform a “specific” “service.” She adds, “Maybe I didn’t provide the experience that a musician may have wanted or expected during that time, but I was straight-forward, direct, and about the business at hand.”
“No matter how incredible the musicians who play with me are, MY name is on the marquee,” Hill writes. “The expectation to make it all come together is on me. The risk and the financial losses are on me. Hence, MY VIBE, though not the only consideration, is the priority.” She later says, “If I was on edge, I had good reason to be.”
“Perhaps my seriousness and militancy in the face of tremendous resistance was misinterpreted as meanness, or that I was unloving or uncaring, when my true intent was to protect. I wouldn’t be the first Black person accused of this,” reads one bullet. “I don’t think of Harriet Tubman’s skills as those of a hostess, but rather her relentless dedication to helping people who wanted out of an oppressive paradigm. #IGETOUT”
She then spends a few bullets detailing her success: “I was also a member of the Fugees, another groundbreaking, multi-platinum selling group, who bridged social and cultural gaps, and were ambassadors of hip-hop all around this planet,” “When exposure and sexualization of the Black female body was the standard, SOMEONE stood up and represented a different image entirely, giving a generation of young women options and alternatives of self-representation. #AMNESIA,” “Show me an artist working now who hasn’t been directly influenced by the work I put in,” “I’ve been traveling with and employing a large band for many years, despite the economic challenges in doing so.”
Hill addresses Glasper’s claim that she didn’t know how to tune her own guitar: “I never held myself out as some accomplished guitar player, I play to articulate better to seasoned players what I want. It’s an instrument I learned without any real lessons or instruction. 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.”
Towards the end of the post, Hill responds to fans and critics who have called out her tardiness: “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, and insist on things being right. 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.”
“I appreciate everyone who was a part of [Miseducation], in any and every capacity,” she says in the final bullet. “It wouldn’t have existed the way that it did without the involvement, skill, hard work, and talents of the artists/musicians and technicians who were a part of it, but it still required my vision, my passion, my faith, my will, my soul, my heart, and my story.”
Read the full post here.