When I read that Lauryn Hill had signed a new record deal with longtime label, Sony Music, I got the feeling that for the first time in a very long one, we might actually get some new music out of her. That is to no credit to her, of course. I imagine Sony put in a “Try us if you want to!” clause in her contract with respect to not ponying up new product.
Here is a link to a piece that I was ‘required’ to release immediately, by virtue of the impending legal deadline.
Exhibit A, B, C, D, E, and F. Who could blame the label given she’s been pussyfooting about releasing another album for a good decade now?
I am surprised that we’ve gotten music this soon, but as Ms. Hill points out, it’s not like she had much of a choice. Oh, how this woman knows how to spoil an occasion. And surprise, surprise, Lauryn has returned with another anti-establishment paean.
“Neurotic Society (Compulsory Mix)” (alternate link here) is a noisy, extended rant delivered in the spirit of fed up with society Speedy Gonzalez. It’s the kind of rant you would hear from Freddie Brooks before she pressed her hair, went to law school and decided to get her Uncle Phil on and be the change she constantly complained of seeking. The song also gives teases of, “What if Iyanla Vanzant read more than self-help books, How To Do Voodoo? and Ouija boards?
Lauryn Hill is the type of person to fuck your husband and call it a protest of institution of marriage because it’s oppressive and sexist and something else that makes her less culpable. You know, kind of like her refusing to pay her taxes for years and blaming it on everyone else. What was it again? She feared for her safety. So much so she couldn’t be bothered to pay her taxes.
Apparently, even though plenty of other people have lived in self-imposed exile without ending up on Uncle Sam’s hit list, her grave and pressing danger was enough to stop her from downloading Turbo Tax or asking someone’s accountant cousin for a hookup.
Not to be outdone, she showed up to court recently in a nice Gucci bag. Admittedly, I don’t have the pressures of being a fashionista and global superstar like Ms. Hill. Nevertheless, I feel as if I owed the government seven figures I’d have to show up in Bugle Boy jeans, an old Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle t-shirt from 1992, and some old Chucks I had to flirt to keep a discount on at Goodwill. But again, I don’t know Ms. Hill’s pressures to stay primped.
Thing is, as mocking as I am (for good reason, don’t trip) there is no one else on her level actually bothering to speak about the various societal ills going on. Everyone is at the club, getting drink, popping Molly’s and uploading fauxtivational bullshit on social media to deflect from the trying times we’re all burdened with. That is the only reason I can at least say to Lauryn, “Well, at least you’re trying to say something.”
However, I wish she’d try a little harder. Not to mention, I’d love it if Lauryn put her own actions in perspective before she wags her finger at everyone else. I can’t imagine paying $10.99 on iTunes to hear Ms. Lauryn Hill spend a whole hour blaming everyone else for her shortcomings in the most pretentious way possible. I’ve already heard her Unplugged album so I’m good on her bitching out her fans for giving her the fame and fortune she sought. I would love it if Lauryn would bother to sing again, or at the very least, rap without sounding like someone pressed the fast forward button.
Someone lock her in a room with Saleem Remi, Frank Ocean, Mark, and Questlove. Pretty please. It would do her a world of good. Ditto for her musical legacy, which she still seems content on ruining.