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Lauryn Hill took to her Tumblr page to comment on recent media reports that she’d inked a new deal with Sony Music in order to help her avoid prison time for three years' worth of missed tax returns. She wrote that she will be launching a new label through Sony to release her new music but called media reports on the nature of the deal and its dollar amount “inaccurate.”
Last year, Hill pleaded guilty for failing to pay federal taxes on $1.8 million earned between 2005 and 2007. On Monday, a federal judge postponed Hill's tax evasion sentencing, giving her until May 6 to pay off her liability, which now stands at $504,000 after Hill made a payment of $50,000 late last year.
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During Monday's proceeding in Newark, N.J., however, Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra Moser revealed that Hill had signed a new deal with Sony, and was set to receive $1 million for recording five new songs, plus additional money for an entire album's worth of music, according to NJ.com. However, Hill has yet to finish writing and recording the new songs; a rep for the singer declined to provide further details on the deal, and at press time a rep for Sony had not responded to Billboard.biz’s request for comment.
Hill’s post follows in full:
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.