Lauryn Hill will be released from prison today (October 4) after serving her three month sentence for tax evasion, and to celebrate the occasion she has released new song “Consumerism.” The track was written prior to her stint behind bars, but was mixed while she served her sentence. As with “Neurotic Society Compulsory Mix,” which was released just before she began her sentence, Hill spends most of the song free-form rapping about society’s ills in short bursts of imagery over a jittery beat. This song, however, has a vocal chorus breaking things up. So, yeah, don’t get your hopes up for a Miseducation update.
In a message on her Tumblr, Hill explains the song’s meaning, and reveals that it is part of a forthcoming project/album Letters From Exile. “Letters From Exile is material written from a certain space, in a certain place. I felt the need to discuss the underlying socio-political, cultural paradigm as I saw it,” Hill states. “I haven’t been able to watch the news too much recently, so I’m not hip on everything going on. But inspiration of this sort is a kind of news in and of itself, and often times contains an urgency that precedes what happens. I couldn’t imagine it not being relevant.”
Hear the new track below.
Earlier this year, Hill was sentenced to three years behind bars in a minimum security prison after pleading guilty to failing to pay $1.8 million in taxes. She began her sentence on July 8, and upon her release today, she’ll face three months of house arrest followed by nine months on supervised release. Just before the sentencing, Hill signed a deal with Sony to release new music this year.