An Ode To Bustin' Outta Jail: Lauryn Hill Releases 'Consumerism' [Listen]

Upon her release from a three month prison sentence, rapper Lauryn Hill has dropped a new single that blasts the world's social issues. Hill was imprisoned after failing to pay $2.3 million worth of taxes over the last five years, reports USA Today.

Lauryn Hill
Lauryn Hill Releases Thought-Provoking New Music.

Hill did pay back $900,000 in an effort to save herself from jail but this was not enough to prevent her being locked up. Although 30-36 months is the length of jail time usually given to punish those who committed such crimes, Hill got off comparatively lightly with just three months behind bars.

The politically-charged new single employs Hill's echoing speed rap over tribal percussion, what sounds like pan pipes and a melodic chorus of female voices singing "self destruct." There's plenty of -ism words including consumerism, including modernism, macarthyism, egoism, legalism, masochism and secularism, hinting that Hill is lashing out every establishment in frustration at the situation she found herself in.

Before she was incarcerated, Hill wrote an open letter on Tumblr in a disapproving tirade against the IRS. "I shuddered during sentencing when I kept hearing the term 'make the IRS whole' [...] make the IRS whole, knowing that I got into these very circumstances having to deal with the very energies of inequity and resistance that created and perpetuated these savage inequalities," the 38 year-old wrote.

Best known for being a member of hip hop unit Fugees, Hill rose to fame in the 90s and went solo with debut album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill which showcased R&B melodies very different to the 'Consumerism' single that she's just dropped. A statement of Hill's Soundcloud page explains that the singer wanted to release the track whilst she was behind bars "as it is a product of the space she was in while she was going through some of the challenges she has been faced with recently."

Lauryn Hill Live
She's Out...And She's Angry.

"Consumerism is part of some material I was trying to finish before I had to come in. We did our best to eke out a mix via verbal and emailed direction, thanks to the crew of surrogate ears on the other side."

"Letters From Exile is material written from a certain space, in a certain place. I felt the need to discuss the underlying socio-political, cultural paradigm as I saw it. I haven't been able to watch the news too much recently, so I'm not hip on everything going on," Hill wrote, adding "Messages like these I imagine find their audience, or their audience finds them, like water seeking it's level."

Hill will be setting up a new record label through Sony with whom she struck up a deal to help avoid a longer sentence.


Contactmusic

Tags: Lauryn Hill - Fugees

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