A few weeks ago, Robert Glasper gave an interview to Houston’s The Madd Hatta Morning Show, where he shared a rather eye-opening story about his experiences with one Ms. Lauryn Hill. A key quote from that sit-down:
So we rehearse a whole week, like 10 hours a day. Every day she comes in and changes the show, changes what she wants to do. 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 going to cut your pay in half.’ The last rehearsal. The day before the show. First of all, we weren’t getting paid that much anyway but understand she’s getting half a million dollars. So seriously? You’re going to take these five musicians and cut their pay in half.
But that wasn’t even the craziest thing Glasper said…
Respect, I respect. You can’t come into a situation especially when you’ve already stolen all of my friends’ music. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill [her 1998 solo debut album] 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. You feel me though?
Now, Lauryn has issued a lengthy response on her personal Medium page. In it, she addresses the “ghostwriter” claims, the pay rumors, and everything in between. Some choice quotes:
You may be able to make suggestions, but you can’t write FOR me. 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.
The Miseducation was the first time I worked with musicians outside of the Fugees who’s report and working relationship was clear. 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.
When you’re a popular artist or public figure, people can sometimes forget that you’re hiring them to perform a service, and that you’re not the one there to entertain THEM. I didn’t scream or yell. Maybe I didn’t provide the experience that a musician may have wanted or expected during that time, but I was straight-forward, direct, and about the business at hand.
The entire piece can be read here (in case you missed the link up top).