Ms. Lauryn Hill has released a new track, “Consumerism,” on the eve of her release from prison after serving three months for tax evasion on about $1 million in income. Interestingly enough, she served her time at the same Danbury, Connecticut minimum security prison featured in Piper Chapman’s book Orange Is the New Black. ”Consumerism” was written and recorded prior to Ms. Hill’s incarceration and mixed “via verbal and email direction,” per her Tumblr. It’s a dense, politically-charged rap that moves at the speed of light through “the underlying socio-political, cultural paradigm.”
Refusing to pay taxes can be seen as a political act in itself, although Ms. Hill claimed at the time of her sentencing that she’d always intended to pay her debt. According to Hill, she had been forced to quit the music industry due to threats made to her and her family, as well as pop culture’s “climate of hostility, false entitlement, manipulation, racial prejudice, sexism and ageism.” One has to consider what position her financial obligations have now placed her in as an artist, being forced to re-enter and earn in an industry she’d previously rejected.
“Consumerism” is the first track from Ms. Hill’s upcoming Letters From Exile. Stream it below.
STREAM: Ms. Lauryn Hill – “Consumerism”