Why Did Lauryn Hill Leave The Music Industry?

Lauryn Hill
Emeka Ochiagha
July 14, 2021

Lauryn Hill is a music legend, period. On top of her success with The Fugees, her solo project “The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill” earned her five grammys and made her the first rapper ever to win Album of the Year. She co-produced the album, and toured it while pregnant – twice! 

So why, when she was on top of the world, did she disappear?

In 2012, Hill wrote: 

“...I did this in order to build a community of people, like-minded in their desire for freedom and the right to pursue their goals and lives without being manipulated and controlled by a media protected military industrial complex with a completely different agenda.” Whoa.

Lauryn realized that her message of dignity and uplift ran in contradiction to what the media wanted. They wanted control and submission from the masses, and they wanted their artists to be submissive as well. But she refused.

She also realized that what was sellable was more important than the actual art itself. As much as Lauryn wanted to be an artist, she could not do it within the confines of a hyper-capitalist music industry.

Lauryn Hill challenged the system by not giving it her gifts. She challenged the system by not letting it use her for their anti-Black purposes. From her we learn that freedom has more value than money or fame could ever give.

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