On May 7th 2013, musician Lauryn Hill was sentenced to 3 months in jail for failing to pay a tax bill after she withdrew herself from society following threats made against her family. Hill pleaded guilty to charges of tax evasion last year and has already paid $900,000 on her tax bill. After her stint in jail, she will be confined to her home for three more months and has been ordered to undergo counselling to address her ‘conspiracy theory’ mindset when it comes to her thoughts on the music industry.
Lauryn Hill sang with the Fugees, had an small acting career and also a solo career as a musician. She has been known to talk during performance about the “pop culture cannibalism,” as she puts it, that the music industry imposes on artists. She feels there is an elite that is making decisions within the music industry for their own profit and benefit and it cuts real talent out of the equation. She feels there is a clear exploitation of people going on within the music industry and many artists suffer as a result.
In June last year, Hill posted a message to her Tumblr account explaining how the music industry is “manipulated and controlled by a media protected military industrial complex.” Hill, of course, is not the only one to say this, numerous musicians from around the world have said the same thing including Prince, Don Henley, John Fogerty, Tom Scholz, George Michael, Paul McCartney, Michael Jackson, Tupac, Immortal Technique and more. At various points in some artists careers they have claimed to be enslaved by their music contracts. We have reported on this sort of thing before HERE & HERE.
In my own opinion as a big fan of music and a hobby musician myself, I find it very obvious to see what is going on within the industry. Radio stations, big popular bands and artists, certain genres of music -for the most part they have a lot in common. They tend to be limited in talent and don’t write much of their own music. Their path to stardom generally comes only through essentially selling their soul or buying their way in. Of course this isn’t 100% true across the board but just looking at major acts like Drake, Jay Z, Rhianna, Lady GaGa etc, you not only see a serious lack of talent but also a plethora of symbolism in every one of their acts. It has become clear that people seem to be more so convinced and in a sense brainwashed into liking certain artists and music vs. actually liking them from the get go. This is achieved in numerous ways from repetitive choruses, constant repetition of a song, frequencies in the music, and even catchy rythmic beats the brain opens up to. I often listen to ‘underground’ bands and think to myself, I can’t understand why these arists will never see the light of day. Of course it’s within a few moments that I remember precisely why.
I think Lauryn’s cases is a great example of how far mainstream media, law, and entertainment will go to silence those who wish to point out the actual happenings within these industries. To many it is no secret that this goes on in the industry, but to most, they are unaware easily settled by the rulings of courts and cries of mainstream media that these ‘conspiracy theorists’ have a mental illness when making such claims. It is, however, encouraging to see how many artists have been speaking out and putting their reputation on the line to help spread the truth.