Seminal R&B icon Lauryn Hill has hit back at claims that she stole the music for her debut solo album, and that she mistreated her band members.
Following the disbandment of the Fugees back in 1997, singer Lauryn Hill decided to embark upon a solo career. In August of 1998, Hill released her sole studio album, The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill, to major critical acclaim. However, jazz musician Robert Glasper has now stated that Hill’s involvement in the record was not quite as it seems.
In an interview with Houston’s KBXX radio station earlier this month (via Pitchfork), Glasper claimed that Hill ‘stole’ the music heard on her album.
“OK, you steal music,” Robert Glasper stated, referring to Lauryn Hill. “Miseducation was made by great musicians and producers that I know, personally.”
“So you got a big hand off of music that you didn’t even write,” he added.
“She took the credit for making the classic album,” Glasper continued. “Those songs were written by other people, and they did not get their credit. She likes to take credit so she can become this super person. If you’re a super person and you’re that talented… do it!”
“I’ve met Stevie Wonder and hung out with Stevie Wonder,” he added. “I’ve met Quincy Jones and hung out with Quincy Jones. I’ve met Herbie Hancock; hung out with Herbie Hancock. If those three people can be cool, Lauryn Hill should be able to be cool. You haven’t done enough to be the way you are. You just have not.”
“The one thing you did that was great, you didn’t do.”
Elsewhere in the same interview, Robert Glasper – who has previously been a member of Lauryn Hill’s touring band – alleged that the musician also mistreated her band members, threatening to cut their pay and firing them before performances.
“Every day she comes in and changes the show, changes what she wants to do,” he explained. “Completely. The last rehearsal, she doesn’t show up. Her manager comes in and says, ‘Lauryn’s not really feeling the way you guys have been learning the music, so we’re gonna cut your pay in half.'”
“The last rehearsal. The day before the show. ‘We’re gonna cut your pay in half.’ First of all, we weren’t getting paid that much anyway, but understand she’s getting half-a-million dollars. So, seriously? You’re gonna take these five musicians and cut their pay in half?”
“I apologize for the delay in getting this posted, I was late in hearing about it,” she began. “I understand this is long, but my last interview was over a decade ago.”
“You may be able to make suggestions, but you can’t write FOR me,” Hill continued. “I am the architect of my creative expression. 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.”
“These are my songs, musicians are brought in because of the masterful way that they play their instruments. I’m definitely looking for something specific in musicians, and I absolutely do hire the best musicians I can find.”
“Not every band had that particular ‘something’ I was looking for. That doesn’t make them bad musicians, just different than what I needed in that particular moment.”
“The Miseducation was the first time I worked with musicians outside of the Fugees who’s report and working relationship was clear,” she continued. “In an effort to create the same level of comfort, I may not have established the necessary boundaries and may have been more inviting than I should have been.”
“In hindsight, I would have handled it differently for the removal of any confusion. And I have handled it differently since, I’m clear and I make clear before someone walks in the door what I am and am not looking for. I may have been inclusive, but these are my songs.”
Robert Glasper is yet to respond to Lauryn Hill’s new statement in regards to his allegations. You can check out the rest of Lauryn Hill’s response here.