Well, at least something good has come from Lauryn Hill‘s tax woes. It’s being reported that Hill has signed a new record deal with Sony so that she can launch her own label where she will release new music, which will in turn allow her to pay her overdue taxes and possibly keep her out of prison.
Last year, Hill pleaded guilty to not paying federal taxes on $1.8 million she earned between the years of 2005 and 2007.
While the total amount of taxes she owes is in dispute, it’s believed to be around $1 million — the same amount her reported record deal with Sony is worth.
According to the Newark Star-Ledger, Lauryn’s deal with Sony, which was signed last summer, requires that she record and release at least five songs, and she could get more cash if she completes a full album. To this day, Hill has yet to complete the songs, and her tour late last year didn’t generate as much revenue as anticipated.
The judge presiding over Hill’s case ordered her to pay off her criminal tax debt by her next sentencing date, which is May 6th in New Jersey.
At that time, Hill learn whether or not she will have to spend any time behind bars, though her lawyers are hoping she will be given probation instead. She faces up to 24 to 30 months in prison.
The judge also set May 6th as the date she needs to pay off her criminal tax liability, which is about $500,000.
Using her famous Tumblr blog — the same blog where she explained why she didn’t pay taxes in the first place — Lauryn confirmed the reports that she had signed the record deal, and also confirmed that she did it to pay her taxes.
Hill also confirmed that she will be releasing new music — something that her fans have been waiting on for YEARS, as she hasn’t released hardly anything new since her 1998 solo debut “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,” which has sold more than 10 million albums and earned her five Grammy Awards.
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. And yes, I am working on new music.
I’ve remained silent, after an extensive healing process. This has been a 10+ year battle, for a long time played out behind closed doors, but now in front of the public eye. This is an old conflict between art and commerce… free minds, and minds that are perhaps overly tethered to structure. 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.
It took years for me to get out of the ‘parasitic’ dynamic of my youth, and into a deal that better reflects my true contribution as an artist, and (purportedly) gives me the control necessary to create a paradigm suitable for my needs. 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.
The nature of my new business venture, as well as the dollar amount reported, was inaccurate, only a portion of the overall deal. Keep in mind, my past recordings have sold over 50,000,000 units worldwide, earning the label a tremendous amount of money (a fraction of which actually came to me).
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. There are volumes that could (and will) be said.