For once, Lauryn Hill is in the news and it’s not because of her tax evasion charges. Well, it’s basically because of her tax charges. The reclusive singer previously pleaded guilty to failing to pay taxes on $1.8 million of income made in the mid-2000s, and is set to be sentenced on May 3. Today (April 26), she posted an open letter on her Tumblr addressing the case. And while she sounds as unwilling as ever to square up with Uncle Sam and pay her debt ahead of the sentencing, she did reveal that she’s got some new music on the way!
“It has been reported that I signed a new record deal, and that I did this to pay taxes. Yes, I have recently entered into an agreement with Sony Worldwide Entertainment, to launch a new label, on which my new music will be released,” she wrote. “And yes, I am working on new music.” She went on to call her battle with the IRS a “conflict between art and commerce.”
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 [...] Only a completely complicated set of traps, manipulations, and inequitable business arrangements could put someone who has accomplished the things that I have, financially in need of anything. 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.”
Sounds valiant and all, but the courts don’t seem to be buying it. “This is not someone who stands before the court penniless,” said US Magistrate Judge Madeline Cox Arleo. “This is a criminal matter. Actions speak louder than words, and there has been no effort here to pay these taxes.”
[via Miss Info]