Category Archives: Politics

It’s Funny How Money Changes Situations: The Err of Lauryn Hill

Lauryn Hill at Central Park

Lauryn Hill at Central Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s funny how money changes situations
Miscommunication leads to complication
My emancipation don’t fit your equation

– Lost Ones, Lauryn Hill, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998)

On August 13, The US Marshalls Service released Lauryn Hill’s mug shot to the public. The mug shot was taken in June when  Hill pleaded guilty to three counts of tax evasion. She reportedly did not file taxes for the  years 2005-2007 and could be facing up to three years in jail.  Ms. Hill’s reasoning  for not paying taxes maintains ,“I left a more mainstream and public life, in order to wean both myself, and my family, away from a lifestyle that required distortion and compromise as a means for maintaining it…If it had not been able to make contact with, and establish this community, my life, safety and freedom, would have been directly affected as well as the lives, safety and freedom of my family.  Failure to create a non toxic, non exploitative environment was not an option,” she wrote on her tumblr page in June.

Hill’s accusation against the entertainment industry is no paradigm. She is not the first mega-celebrity to make such negative assertions about the entertainment enterprise, particularly concerning the music monopoly. Michael Jackson,Mariah Carey, and Dave Chapelle have all stepped away from the limelight in order to loosen the controlling grips of the evils of the industry. After the stars’ social and/or physical retreats they were promptly labeled as crazy. This is no coincidence. All the stars in this list have achieved great success in their respective areas, so taking a break when the pressures got overwhelming would seem a fitting thing to do. But, because of the relentless grip of contractual agreements and not-so-secret entities in Showbiz these awesome achievers are humiliated and threatened. Faced with losing all signs of soul and self, they flee. Thus, the case of Lauryn Hill.

Lauryn Hill has some great points to why she left the mainstream and subsequently did not pay taxes. Attempting to protect her own and her family’s freedom and  quest for sanctity are very noble reasons to run and hide. There’s one major issue though: THE GOVERNMENT DOESN’T CARE ABOUT ANYTHING OTHER THAN MONEY.  Even though Lauryn stated that she took a respite from it all, physically she still resided in the US and earned wages here. When it comes to taxes, we’re all playing THEIR game. I just know she didn’t she think she was gonna make over $1.5 million, not pay the government their share, and get away with it. This is why her actions are confusing. I totally get that she was making a stand by recoiling, but not paying taxes makes her more than a rebel. It makes L-Boogie fodder for perpetuated persecution against all perceived threats. Unless she’s yelling “Baby I gotcha money” her rationalizations will fall on the IRS’ deaf ears.

Consequence is no coincidence,Hypocrites always want to play innocent
Always want to take it to the full out extent
Always want to make it seem like good intent
Never want to face it when it’s time for punishment 

I wonder if Lauryn Hill could, would she revisit some of her old rhymes to recapture the knowledge that lies there? Lauryn originally wrote these words for the oppressor, unfortunately the state of her situation will cause these words to be discombobulated in order to destroy her.

Now you wanna bawl over separation
Tarnish my image in your conversation

The biggest concern and loss in this situation is in consideration of the fate of her children. Yes,  she valiantly shield them from the evils of Hollywood in those non-taxpaying years. But, what now? If she goes to prison, will her kids not suffer? Is this movement worth the damage her kids may inherit by their mom going to jail?  Sounds like a lost one.