Earlier this month, acclaimed jazz pianist Robert Glasper set social media on fire after claiming Ms. Lauryn Hill was difficult to work with and “stole” much of the music from her classic album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, from other artists.
“You haven’t done enough to be the way you are,” Glasper said on Houston’s 97.9 about his experience working with Hill years ago. “The one thing you did that was great, you didn’t do.”
“Miseducation was made by great musicians and producers that I know personally,” Glasper continued. “Those songs were written by other people and they did not get their credit.”
While Hill has stayed pretty quiet over the years, choosing to let her performances do most of the talking for her, she recently wrote a lengthy statement responding to Glasper’s claims.
I chose to wait until after the anniversary to post this. Thank you everyone for the Love! I’d like to clear a few things up.
Full statement available here: https://t.co/kbtvoOWD2R
— Ms. Lauryn Hill (@MsLaurynHill) August 28, 2018
“I chose to wait until after the anniversary to post this,” Hill told fans on Twitter. “Thank you everyone for the Love! I’d like to clear a few things up.”
In the letter, Hill addressed several topics, including Glasper’s claim that she took credit for songs she didn’t write, was difficult to work with, and mistreated her band members.
“I am the architect of my creative expression. No decisions are made without me,” the Grammy winner said. “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.”
Hill continued, “I definitely don’t like to fire anyone. It did take me meeting a lot of people over a number of years to find the right musicians, but my current band has been with me for a long time, the newest members probably 2/3 years, some as long as 7/8 years now. I was looking for a similar natural chemistry with new musicians that I’d had with the Fugees and Miseducation bands. I’d literally grown up with some of those musicians. That isn’t easy to find.”
While fans continue to flock to her shows, Hill is known for starting late and switching up the arrangements of her most popular tunes. She blamed her perpetual tardiness on her drive for perfection.
“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,” Hill stated. “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.”
After the success of Miseducation 20 years ago, fans clamored for more from Hill. However, at the height of her popularity, she retreated from the spotlight to focus on her family (she’s the mother of six) and escape the toxicity of the entertainment industry.
“There were lots of issues both personal and in the world of entertainment during that period that needed resolve. I was definitely going through a significant transition. I no longer felt safe,” Hill explained.
Before closing her statement, Hill directly addressed Glasper’s assertion that she had not “done enough” to be such a demanding artist. While she’s only released one solo studio album, Hill’s impact on music remains–and she dropped the receipts to prove it.
“Who are you to say I didn’t do enough? Most people are probably just hearing your name for the first time because you dropped MINE in an interview, controversially,” she wrote. “Show me an artist working now who hasn’t been directly influenced by the work I put in, and I’ll show you an artist who’s been influenced by an artist who was directly influenced by the work that I put in.”
Hill continued, “I was and continue to be a door opener, even if the blind don’t see it, and the prideful are too proud to admit it. I lived this, you watched this and heard about it.”