Fugees singer Lauryn Hill published a powerful critique of the music business and consumer society this week in response to US tax authorities charging her with failing to file tax returns between 2005 and 2007.
Releasing her statement via Tumblr (http://mslaurynhill.tumblr.com/ ) the massively successful former pop star described sacrificing her personal needs to make millions for corporations and individuals who turned on her as she sought escape.
“I’ve seen people promote addiction, use sabotage, black listing, media bullying and any other coercion technique they could, to prevent artists from knowing their true value, or exercising their full power,” she said.
“These devices of control, no matter how well intentioned (or not), can have a devastating outcome on the lives of people, especially creative types who must grow and exist within a certain environment and according to a certain pace, in order to live and create optimally.”
“Addressing critical issues like pop culture cannibalism or its manipulation of the young at the expense of everything, was frowned upon and discouraged by limiting funding, or denying it outright,” she continued.
“I kept my life relatively simple, even after huge successes, but it became increasingly obvious that certain indulgences and privileges were expected to come at the expense of my free soul, free mind, and therefore my health and integrity.
So I left a more mainstream and public life, in order to wean both myself, and my family, away from a lifestyle that required distortion and compromise as a means for maintaining it,” she explained.
Her assessment struck a chord with an article by veteran New York promoter and nightlife expert Steven Lewis, who writing on his blog BlackbookMag this week painted a depressing picture of New York’s current scene compared to its ‘Golden era’ of the 80s and 90s.
“Being able to make money while being creative and thinking outside the box was what made that era great,” the onetime Limelight and Palladium promoter recalled.
“Now few care about anything but the bottom line, and only a few Manhattan-based clubs embrace "the new,” he added, “DJs dumb down their sets to please bottle buyers with black cards, and door people let the mundane spenders in as VIPs.” (BlackBookMag: http://bit.ly/Lpe5iq )
Jonty Skrufff: http://listn.to/JontySkrufff