Lauryn Hill Breaks Her Silence

Lauryn Hill

Lauryn Hill hasn’t granted many interviews as of late, but NPR managed to score some one-on-one time with the reclusive singer during her visit to the Harmony Festival in Santa Rosa, Calif., earlier this month.

Reporter Zoe Chace was invited to ride in the former Fugees member’s car following her performance and soon found out that Ms. Hill, as she prefers to be called, is doing just fine despite the rumors.

On why she stopped putting out music: “There were a number of different reasons. But partly, the support system that I needed was not necessarily in place. There were things about myself, personal-growth things, that I had to go through in order to feel like it was worth it. In fact, as musicians and artists, it’s important we have an environment—and I guess when I say environment, I really mean the [music] industry, that really nurtures these gifts. Oftentimes, the machine can overlook the need to take care of the people who produce the sounds that have a lot to do with the health and well-being of society, or at least some aspect of society. And it’s important that people be given the time that they need to go through, to grow, so that the consciousness level of the general public is properly affected. Oftentimes, I think people are forced to make decisions prematurely. And then that sound radiates.”

On wanting to sing more: “I’m trying to open up my range and really sing more. With The Fugees initially, and even with Miseducation, it was very hip-hop—always a singing over beats. I don’t think people have really heard me sing out. So if I do record again, perhaps it will have an expanded context. Where people can hear a bit more.”

On why she started to perform again: “I don’t know if you know this, but I have five children. The youngest is 2 now, so she’s old enough that I can leave her for a period of time and know she’s going to be okay. That’s one reason. And I think it’s just time. I’m starting to get excited again. Believe it or not, I think what people are attracted to about me, if anything, is my passion. People got exposed to my passion through music and song first. I think people might realize, you know, ‘We love the way she sounds, we love the music, but I think we just love how fearless she is. How boundless she is, when it comes to what she wants to do.’ And I think that can be infectious.”

On staying healthy: “I think if I was created with such power or an ability, then what’s also been put in me is the blueprint for the responsibility part, as well. I have to take care of myself in order to take care of this gift, which has affected so many. I don’t treat it lightly. It’s important to me to be healthy and to be whole.”

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48 Comments

  1. Marques LaShawn

    Beautiful. It is so good to hear a good word from this good sister again. She’s probably the most dynamic artist we have seen since Michael’s solo rise in the 1980s and now that he has physically passed (though he is artistically still with us) it may be time for Lauryn to emerge (only The Creator Knows) as a sort of heir apparent. It just may be shocking to the world that a Blackwoman emerges as such.

    Good to hear from her again.
    God Bless!

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  2. rman

    i love this interview. she sounds like she’s finally in the right head space and i look forward to her new “range.” she’s an undeniable talent to be reckoned with.

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  3. Laury Post

    It’s nice to have you back. I didn’t realize you had 5 children. What a shinning example you are to your children on how to balance career and their childhoods.

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  4. Nekeidria

    About time Lauren…she was my mentor and she didnt even know it! i was compared to lauren for many years because of my rapping and singing abilities…WE’VE MISSED YOU LAUREN!!!!…bring that beautiful voice back to us!

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  5. dENISE2001

    Finally tha Sista is back. So cnt wait til u bless us again w/ ur songs ur messages…its smthing tha is so LONG OVER DUE…but as true fans and true belivers we gave u tha time to find what is needed to get you back to tha place where u are focuz and so w/ tha Thnk you…Ms. Hill…You are strong in a way tha motives ones to express there way through song and through poetry we bless tha mic hoping tha if one person is to b reach it will carry tha person to a point of reaching others and tha is what ur music does…I’ll b tha 1st to purchase tha CD as soon as u bring it to tha light…Welcome Back…love u and God Bless to tha fullest!!!!!

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  6. Rapfan

    She had serious talent and opportunity and threw it. The question is if she is still up in the hills, smoking weed and making babies, and under the influence of some man who won’t marry her, how is she going to get the support to make a comeback? Don’t blame the music industry. Life is what you make it, negative people are everywhere. She’s got to find her own strength. Sounds like Lauren is all talk.

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  7. Miss One

    Excellent Interview ! I L-O-V-E, Lauryn (Ms. Hill if you’re nasty). I’ll be one of the first in line to buy her new album. She is so much a part of my youth.

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  8. Lady Scott

    So exciting! Hands down, Lauryn is one the most talented musicians of our time. Can’t wait to finally HEAR her. God bless you, Lauryn. Looking forward to your new stuff, whenever it arrives :-)

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  9. Holly, Rally, NC

    Very powerful words…

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  10. Holly, Rally, NC

    Rapfan…talent is constant. You either have it or you don’t. Just because she took the time to have offspring and decided to learn more about self…you chastise. More people need to take the time for self inflection in order to truly affect the world. IF you’re not whole then the message you give won’t be.

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  11. Joe

    What in the hell is she talking about? I didn’t understand a single thing she said in her interview. She sounds full of her self and confused. She is a very talented person but wow.

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  12. Georgie

    Give me a break….lose the ego. She thinks she’s all that and bag of donuts. I just get the impression that she thinks she’s this amazing artist….what has she done…one good album? Lighten up!

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  13. E. Peiffer

    I loved Ms. Hill…one time, two time. I used to sit in my room and blare her music. She really turned me off though when she said she didn’t want “white people” to listen to her music. She had the opportunity to bring us together through her music, but instead she widened the gap. I don’t know if she is, but that statement made me think she was racist, and I was only 10 years old. Now whenever I hear her, I think, “she doesn’t want me to enjoy her talent, so why should I?”

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  14. Trey

    Good 4 Lauryn!!
    Hope she makes a comeback

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  15. Pthomas

    Fearless? Yet she had so stop making music because the mean music industry did provide the right support system? While I have always liked her music – “Ms. Hill” seems to have a very lofty opinion of herself and contrary to her assertion this inflated vision of herself projects fearlessness it seems arrogant and makes me less interested in her.

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  16. pefus

    this ‘lady’ ran out of money…she has no talent but morons who dont even know what music is – and its not just a nice piece of @ss shaking her bottom – will fund her next retirement once again… the human race is pathetic

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  17. shelly

    there is a clinical diagnosis called “delusion of grandeur”….i believe this is what MS. HILL is suffering from. WOW…..no doubt she is talented, but to blame the industry that gave YOU an opportunity is ABSURD. Let go of the weed and face reality !

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  18. JW

    Sounds to me like “Ms. Hill” is full of herself. Fearless…Oh Please. Isn’t she the same racist that said she didn’t want white people to buy her music? If memory serves, that was right before she disappeared. Open mouth, insert foot??

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  19. RideorDie

    Sounds like alot of words streamed together to me. She is not married and has 5 kids…out of wedlock. To me that’s insane to begin with. Then she has another one that’s 2 years old. Another insanity. These women start having kids before they get husbands’ is downright dumb-shit. White women they have a plan, they have their career, get married, then have children. Why does our race have it twisted. Why would she jeopardize her career for that. She was messing with Bob Marley’s son Ziggy and got used. He didn’t marry her either. I don’t believe in kids before marriage—it’s never a good idea. Lauren Hill though inspite of her mistakes; she has a great voice. I hope that the spirit is really there. Like I said; it sounds like she needs money to me. If that’s so, get to singing your little heart out Lauryn.

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  20. RideorDie

    Furthermore, when these women leave the music industry (to go have these daddy’s baby’s) and then try and come back—why should we fall all over ourselves to pay to see them. They quit as far as I am concerned. That goes for Anita Baker too! Her sound is no longer even modern to me. Lauryn Hill needs money now and that’s the bottom line. Plz. Lauryn couldn’t get her high on like she wanted to. Now she’s willing to leave her 2 yr old with those older kids I guess. I don’t know. Are we really in need on LH at this point?

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  21. darkchild

    Lauryn, you should’nt have to explain why you left and why you’re returning. Whatever the reason or reasons, you have that right. Those of you hating on Lauryn and making disrespectful comments, God will judge you the same day he judge Lauryn.

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  22. Mary

    Ms. Hill so beautifully put. I love you and your music that you so passionally make. I have purchase the MisEducation of Lauryn Hill, several times. You are a gift from GOD, one of his most valuable song birds. We all have trails and tributlation to go through. Don’t worry about what the critics are saying. GOD is our only judge in the end. I look forward to your come back whenever it may be. Your are truely a beautiful young lady.
    Always will be a fan.

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  23. Chen Kai Wen

    I’m a fan, but expressing superstition is not “beautiful.” You were “created” by biology, Lauryn, this is also the reason you had 5 kids.

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  24. Compassion

    When we as a people start to lift each other up and not down trode each other, we will be a force to reconed with. We have to break this mindset. We don’t need to hurt each other to succeed. Hard work and determination is all we need. I think trying to have a family and perform concert after concert would leave something lacking. Every woman has the right to have a child if she chooses and to raise that child. You can’t raise a child hopping from concert to concert. She took the time to get her child to a point where she felt they were ready for her to return to her career. Why are we bitching. White women do it all the time and they are applauded for it and welcomed with open arms upon their retrun, why not Lauryn.

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  25. N

    Lauryn Hill is a blessing. Only God knows all the things people don’t see, and understands all the things people don’t. Who knows everything that’s within a person. The world is the world. The business world is the world. God is the Spirit of Truth which the world will never get. People of this world always misjudge. Alot of this has to do with the miseducation/misinformation people are fed from birth, straight through their lives. Society’s viewpoints(news media), school education, and religion. Without full spiritual understanding, all things are vain – come to nothing. No true understanding of the facts. So judge not; leave all judgment to the Spirit – the Great Father Spirit of spirits – God(Truth). Just give thanks and praises for all good(edifying) things. Good words and good spirit is of God. One Blessed Love. Peace.

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  26. LShea

    Fear of failure can hold people back. If she has been afraid of not being able to replicate the success and accolades that she once accumulated then they could have held her back as well. I do not say this as a hater; merely thinking and wondering. Note: I did not say she would have/will fail.

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  27. guesswho

    good to hear she is in the world.
    powerful singer.

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  28. emma35

    Yes I am so gladshe is back I love this woman music ms./hill u are a bless to music baby girl can’t wait to buy something from I still listen to old stuff…………

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  29. fi

    Lauryn Hill
    Lauryn Hill
    Lauryn Hill
    Lauryn Hill

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  30. jason

    She speaks like a moron. Seriously people, there is nothing poetic about that interview. She put together a bunch of big words that didn’t really make sense together and talked about how great and gifted she is.

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  31. Marcelos

    Well come back LH

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  32. michele

    I agree with Jason, she’s a moron. Talk about the “miseducation” of Lauryn Hill…and she’s not that special either, there are many singers out there as good as she is… and smarter, about their careers and about life!

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  33. poet

    i love u lauryn! nay sayers plus haters will always have something negative to say about true genuine talent SO PLS do dont let them get you down bby girl. We hope you do come back to us and lord bless us with your beautiful gifts of singing and song writing. I adore your work and compassion as an individual. & WILL SUPPORT YOU IN ALL YOU DO EVEN AS AN ACTRESS. I HOPE TO SEE U IN MORE MOVIES SOMETIME WHEN YOUR READY TO BLOSSOM IN UR TRUE POTENTIAL. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF AND COME BACK FIGHTING HARDER THAN EVER! CANT WAIT TO SEE U LIVE IN A CITY NEAR ME. COME TO THE BAY AREA, WE LOVE YOU!

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  34. englishMajor

    To Jason and Michele:
    It’s funny to me that you would state that the words that she used in her interview didn’t make sense together. The reason that is funny to me is because everything that was said made perfect sense. That is from a vocabulary and grammatical perspective. Now, from an opinion perspective… to say that Lauren Hill is “not that special” tells me that you are OUT OF YOU MOTHER EFFING MIND! She is easily top 10 female singers of all time, and no professional singer that you have ever heard of that is worth a damn would disagree with that.
    Peace

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  35. Celena

    Hey RideorDie why don’t you check your facts first before you print some s—. She has 5 children including her 2yr old , Ziggy Marley isn’t the Marley son she was or is with, that would be Rohan Marley and who cares if you don’t believe in children befre marriage??

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  36. TRINITY

    EXCITED FOR HER RETURN!!! GLAD TO HEAR SHE’S TAKING IT SLOW ON HER LIFE, AND WORKING AGAIN!

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  37. v

    Lots of people have anesia and cannot remember 1998 when she went solo after pac and big died -we needed her then and we most definately need her now. Ms. Hill is too deep for some simple-minded miseducated youth of today’s rnb and wack rap to understand this deep individual. She needs to come back and re-educate not just the the youth of today but the entire music industry what real music used to be and what it should then we will start thinking and stop acting so stupid and uneducated on Life! When she does come out with her next album lets see who dares to Hate on Ms. Hill and yes she has earned for people to address her as Ms. Hill and has paved the way for all that have come behind her ask,, alicia k.,keisha c. and even some that have bit her style that u have not heard anymore! Let them know Ms. Hill!!!

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  38. Seriously?

    Are you kidding? Firstly, I’m going to have to agree with EnglishMajor on this one. If you say her interview didn’t make sense, you either slow or very lacking in the comprehension department…Secondly, why should anyone wait for someone else to acknowledge their talent. She’s been there, she’s received the accolades, she’s garnered the recognition, so at this point, why would she need someone else to say how much of a talent she is? That’s the issue most [black] children have now; the reason why most [black] women suffer low self-esteem; the reason why young, [black] men are quicker to succumb to peer-pressure rather than success. Because they need and wait for others to acknowledge their greatness before they themselves do. I applaud Lauryn for not letting material wealth be her ball and chain. I think it takes a strong mind to turn away from something most people would trail like a bloodhound. And most importantly, I think arrogance is something that is often misconstrued confidence. Bèyonce sings about Egos and how much a Diva she is and gets applauded (scantily clad, I might add)…it’s the way of the mindless world. I SAY KUDOS, LAURYN! WELCOME BACK! I’ve DEFINITELY ENJOYED YOUR MUSIC FOR THE PAST 16 YEARS! ESPECIALLY, “CHAINS”, “SOCIAL DRUGS”, “DOO WOP”, AND ALL THE REST!

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  39. Sherice

    First off I would like to commened mz. Hill on taking the time off to raise her kids and get them grounded. Her interview spoke of what’s missing in todays society. SELF RESPECT. She’s speaking in terms of how the industry will grind you for all your worth and drain you and spit you out. (machine)
    But, it’s not allowing you to self reflect. Yea, you make mega money but your soul-less in the end. You have sold your self for our entertainment and everyone that had anything to do with your career is waiting for you at the bank. I am happy that she is making a return. I don’t care who her babbies daddies are(like that should be enough to sing about)but, I know that kids are a gift from God no matter how we obtain them. How much weed she smoked, how paranoid she is/was, OR how unsure of herself she truly is. One thing I know is that this lady is blessed from Jehovah God with talent and the word says that your talent will make room for you and bring you in the presense of great people. So all you haters that read every blog about her and every issue of every magazine that told THEIR TRUTH, we dont have a clue as to what the real story is and guess what……….its hers to tell if she sees fit to testify to it. I am excited that you are back and yes, your passion does draw people to you and those people will stick with you.
    I was drawn to Lauryn because of her song ZION. I pray that God uses you in a fierce way and that your testimony will light the path for so many others
    ONE LOVE- Chicago

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  40. sugabear44

    she one the best if not the best female artist i’ve ever heard you play her last album and you won’t have to skip any songs cause there all good i hope for her come back.

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  41. Roxci

    I miss Ms. Hill. No female MC has held it down and represented like her since Lyte or Latifah. Nowadays woman rappers are too much like their male counterparts. I’m tired of hearing about using men for money, or using sex for money. Ms. Hill actually had something to say. She represented women in the hip-hop culture while maintain a certain level of dignity and femininity. I can’t speak much on her personal life because I’m human and have made my own mistakes in life. I can say this though, I admire the fact that she would rather go M.I.A. then to sell her soul. Some of this genetically altered, neon weave wearing “artist” should take a page from her book. If you don’t stand for something…you’ll fall for anything.

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  42. Lepaula

    @Nekeidria,
    I like your post email me.

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  43. Hill Fan

    Nice to know she is coming back with music. For the comment of her not married and have 5 children. Her children are for Rohan Marley, son of Bob Marley and it was not Ziggy.. Her thoughts are her thoughts. If u dont want someone to do something you let them know. Whites only, Blacks Only, Men only, Women only, Members only. Understand a person, their culture and religion before you make nasty judgements due from illiterate assumptions. Mrs. Lauren hope the comeback is what you want it to be and achieve.

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  44. Zianna

    Hill I love you n ya music cant wait to hear what u have to say.. U inspired me to write poetry. N I LOVE.. Its all good I grow up with ya music.. Congratz

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  45. Lia

    I remember meeting her for like the 3rd or fourth time, after her concert in Philly in 99′, She signed my backstage pass – and what she wrote has stayed with me till this day…she said “keep shining’. I’ve never stopped. She has uplifted my soul enough for 3 lifetimes. I just turned 30 last february and my first thought was – damn, where’s my miseducation cd…track numba 13, everything is everything. The 13th incidentally is my birthdate. There are no accidents in this world. God bless you always L Boogie

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  46. zeh-ke-LEEN

    I think thats great that she’s coming back! Folks are crazy if they think they can stay in the industry and not lose ur self. She did the right thing. She took the time to smell the roses, unlike all the other artist who use up all their time smell their self. I bet they don’t even know what it’s like to be a regular person. God Bless You Forever Ms. Hill

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  47. goerge

    My goodness if people knew more about the world and the music industry you would know its evil that’s why everything in music is contrary to God and his commandments…(From the window to the wall) lol was a hit. Ms.Hill recognized the evil and didn’t want to be a part of it or the inverse the music industry realized her righteousness and didn’t want her part of it. How you go win if you aint right within and what’s it profit a man to gain the whole world but lose their soul…do some research wake upand know that great talents are not supported by the music industry but puppets are…(My speakers goin hammer) lol

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