Lauryn “Kunta” Hill?

lauryn

Lauryn Hill’s song “World is A Hustle” stated: “When the whole world is a hustle, exactly where did we arrive, in this manufactured life, to sell my soul just to survive” When listening to anything Lauryn Hill has written or produced, you come away with something that is innovative, as well as, a certain enlightenment or awareness that you never had prior. She is the embodiment of “I am woman, hear me roar” as her intellectual insight is something that many young women, no matter what background or ethnicity they have or are, can view as a role model of sorts. Whether its speaking on religion, politics, love or feminism; Lauryn has an opinion and a voice that forces an ear to adhere and listen to her. In other words she’s a bad mama jamma (cue the Carl Carlton song). Of course Lauryn has other sides that are not great examples for young women. She took an image hit when she had several children by a married man and during her music/public hiatus, Lauryn was often seen in public looking troubled, disheveled and seemingly on some recreational pharmaceuticals. Of course that’s “alleged” as we can only speculate what may have been going on. Needless to say, the quality of her artistry and her intelligence are things to be celebrated and admired as there is always a fine line between ingenuity and insanity. So lets get past the music and the baby daddy issues as they are irrelevant to this blog. I would however like to concentrate my efforts on the things that I hold her in high regards for her having: a voice (not the singing one but a platform) and her intelligence.

Lauryn Hill was recently incarcerated for failing to file tax returns for two years (2005-2007) on a sum total of $1.8 million dollars. Her sentence was three months in a low level security federal prison in Danbury Connecticut. Lauryn is believed to have sold 16 million copies of her music world wide with an estimated earnings (not personal, but album sales) of $600 million dollars. Currently, her net worth (record sales, tours and real estate investments) is valued at $8.7 Million dollars. Now, don’t get me misconstrued, I recognize the tremendous gap between what was generated versus what she earned. There’s no trick math calculator needed, the industry has always made money off of the so called “entertainment” whether in music, movies or television. Are there exceptions to this (see Master P, Tyler Perry and Oprah)? Yes; but this has always been the standard forever. We live in a capitalistic society. Capitalism is nothing less than Pimps and Prostitutes with a mutual understanding. So if I, in my small circle of personal wisdom and knowledge, am cognizant of this systematic process or machine, then how does this escape Lauryn Hill? Upon Lauryn’s sentencing, she professed to the judge when the subject of her estimated earnings of $600 million that she lived a modest life at the time off of her earnings, stating: “Someone did the math, and it came to around $600 million. And I sit here before you trying to figure out how to pay a tax debt? If that’s not like enough to slavery, I don’t know.” Let’s relive how I started this blog. I quoted one of her songs that had a part in it stating “to sell my soul just to survive”. Well she was correct. Not only did she sell her soul, she sold the souls of her ancestors as well (Black Moses turning over in her grave right now). When did slaves, throughout the grueling trade of life for labor, ever earn $8 million dollars? If you were lucky, you may have eaten the worthless, leftover remains of slaughtered animals (this is where most soul food delicacies derive from). But to expect revenue and real estate in return was blasphemy and would earn you nothing short of death in return for even thinking about it. There are blacks in this country who never received 40 acres or a mule. For the most part, many died never owning the rights to their own life. To proclaim that a “choice” she made to join an industry versus those who had “no choice” is nothing short of her “selling her soul ” for a “manufactured life” “while hustling the world to keep it. There is nothing more disheartening then an intelligent person claiming ignorance. People who are knowledge driven know a little something about everything. To attempt to turn this into someone forcing you to plank next a dead body across an ocean, is a complete misinterpretation and “Miseducation” of us. Shame on her for that. It’s both offensive and appalling.

Trouble finds us all. How we tend to handle our problems or situation is a matter of substance and character. I was taught to own my mistakes and suffer whatever consequences it incurs. We are all aware of what is right and wrong ever since our parents filtered the word “no” into our psyche. What you don’t do is place the blame of your action on others or absolve your involvement by stating that “the devil made me do it”. The bottom line in all of this is that Lauryn didn’t pay her taxes because she didn’t want to. This is not Django and she is not Broom Hilda. Use the empathy of racial suppression to describe a time that was. I can say this with great conviction, our President is black and ascended there off of the blood, chains and death of others. What’s her excuse? #killingmesoftly

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