October 4, 2013

Earlier this year, hip-hop singer Lauryn Hill was sentenced to 3 months in federal prison for failing to pay over $1 million in taxes. This morning, October 4th, Lauryn Hill was released from prison, a Danbury, Connecticut facility.

It was suggested by some that the Grammy-winning artist wouldn’t actually serve time, and would get out of it like many celebrities do. Pras, former co-member of the Fugees questioned “If Lindsay Lohan doesn’t do any time then why would she do time?” Tax evasion is a criminal offense, and despite the naysayers, she had to report to prison July 8th..

Why didn’t Lauryn pay her taxes? She claimed she couldn’t afford it as she’d dropped out of the music industry and needed to protect her six children. This was after making some $2 million from 2005 to 2009 from side businesses.

To assist in paying off her tax bills prior to serving jail time, the singer signed a record deal with Sony and shared a link to a new single with her fans. Now, just hours after being released, she’s put out a new single called “Consumerism.”

Hill speed-raps through a laundry list of societal ills over a chaotic rhythm that’s more Death Grips than “Killing Me Softly.” Her pointed voice brutally targets “corporate greed in Jesus’ name,” decrying ageism, sexism, racism, fascism, “compromised commercialism” and “neo-McCarthyism.” —Rolling Stone

She used her tax woes and pending imprisonment to craft the pre-jail song, and had it mixed while she was serving time. “I couldn’t imagine it not being relevant,” Hill said to Entertainment Tonight, which is probably why this new track was released in such a timely fashion.

Still, even after paying $970,000 in taxes in penalties back in May and spending 3 months behind bars, Lauryn Hill gets to spend the next 3 months on house arrest. Following house arrest, she has another year of supervised release and a $61,000 fine to send to the IRS.

Photo: Community Journal