Lauryn Hill has finally responded to accusations made by jazz pianist Robert Glasper that she stole music from his musician friends.
“You may be able to make suggestions, but you can’t write FOR me,” she wrote in a lengthy essay published to Medium on Monday. “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.”
Earlier this month, Glasper went on a Houston radio station and claimed that Hill stole music featured on her classic album, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,” and passed it off as her own.
“You can’t come into a situation, especially when you’ve already stolen all my friends’ music,” he said during an interview with KBXX’s “The Mad Hatta Morning Show.” “‘Miseducation’ was made by great musicians and producers that I know, personally. So you got a big head off of music you didn’t even write.”
In addition to denying his accusations of musical theft, Hill also asked why he would work with her if he was so sure she had stolen his friends’ work.
Hill tackled some of Glasper’s other criticisms, including his claim that she would yank musicians around, cutting their pay right before performances and firing them at a whim.
“Don’t have the details or recollection of cutting the band’s pay in half,” she wrote. “If fees had been negotiated and confirmed without my knowledge, I may have asked for them to be adjusted. But I would never just cut a musician’s pay arbitrarily unless I had a legitimate reason.”
As for Glasper’s claim that Hill was one of the least pleasant superstars he ever worked with, comparing her unfavorably to Stevie Wonder and Herbie Hancock, she suggested that he mistook her dedication to her work as “meanness.”
“Perhaps my seriousness and militancy in the face of tremendous resistance was misinterpreted as meanness, or that I was unloving or uncaring, when my true intent was to protect,” she wrote. “I wouldn’t be the first Black person accused of this. I don’t think of Harriet Tubman’s skills as those of a hostess, but rather her relentless dedication to helping people who wanted out of an oppressive paradigm.”
Hill is currently in the middle of the 20th anniversary tour for “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.” The record, Hill’s only album of original solo material, was originally released on Aug. 25, 1998.
Robert Glaspar accuses Lauryn Hill of stealing music
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