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Lauryn Hill Announces New Music, Speaks On Tax Evasion

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(Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

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In the midst of court appearances and possible jail time, Lauryn Hill has found time (and the peace of mind) to pen a deal with Sony to release new music.

The former Fugees singer posted on her Tumblr Thursday night (April 25) that she has entered an agreement with the music company to launch her own record label with which to put out her own material. Unbelievably, Hill has not released a studio album since her 1998 smash The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, which she released on Columbia, a subsidiary of Sony. In 2010, she released a single called “Repercussions,” her first in eight years.

“[The deal] better reflects my true contribution as an artist, and (purportedly) gives me the control necessary to create a paradigm suitable for my needs,” she wrote. “I have been working towards this for a long time, not just because of my current legal situation, but because I am an artist, I love to create, and I need the proper platform to do so.”

She also dispelled any rumors that she is pursuing the new venture purely to pay the $504,000 in back taxes in a two-week period, as court-ordered in her ongoing tax evasion case. Hill reportedly failed to file taxes on $1.8 million in past income between 2005 and 2007.

“This is an old conflict between art and commerce… free minds, and minds that are perhaps overly tethered to structure,” wrote Hill in the blog post. “This is about inequity, and the resulting disenfranchisement caused by it. I’ve been fighting for existential and economic freedom, which means the freedom to create and live without someone threatening, controlling, and/or manipulating the art and the artist, by tying the purse strings.”

Unfortunately, the court system does not see her artistic, “free” thinking as reason to evade taxes. Despite her personal thoughts on America’s economic structure, Hill could face 24 to 30 months in jail if she doesn’t pay the $504,000 in a two-week period. She insists in the blog post that no matter what, her artistic integrity shall not be compromised.

“I am one artist who finds value in openly discussing the dynamics within this industry that force artists to compromise or distort themselves and what they do, rather than allowing them to make the music that people need.”

She released another, equally roundabout and rambling statement last year regarding her legal woes that alluded to a “military industrial complex” and the “climate of hostility” that she and her family faced.

Whatever her reasoning, Hill is expected to appear at her postponed court date, now scheduled for May 6.

- Nee-Sa Lossing, Radio.com

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