Written by Maya-Rose Torrão
Legendary American pianist Robert Glasper called out Lauryn Hill for ‘stealing music’ and mistreating fellow artists this week on a radio interview with Houston radio station KBXX. Lauryn Hill’s 1998 album ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’ has been hailed as a classic by many; the album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart, broke a record for first-week sales by a female artist and earned 10 nominations, winning five awards, making Hill the first woman to receive that many nominations and awards in one night, among many other accolades and acclamations. But, as Robert Glasper told a presenter on KBXX, “She took the credit for making the classic album … Those songs were written by other people, and they did not get their credit. She likes to take credit so she can become this super person. If you’re a super person and you’re that talented… do it!”
As if telling Lauryn Hill herself, Glasper stated, “OK, you steal music.” Award-winning musician Glasper then went on to say how, “Miseducation was made by great musicians and producers that I know, personally…. So you got a big hand off of music that you didn’t even write.”
According to Glasper’s interview, Lauryn Hill was not only difficult to work with but also blatantly mistreated her bandmates and in many instances cheated them out of their deserved share of payment. The celebrated pianist outlined one such situation that happened in 2008, after slews of 10-hour rehearsals for a concert that lasted a total of 20 minutes:
“Every day she comes in and changes the show, changes what she wants to do. Completely. The last rehearsal, she doesn’t show up. Her manager comes in and says, “Lauryn’s not really feeling the way you guys have been learning the music, so we’re gonna cut your pay in half.” The last rehearsal. The day before the show. ‘We’re gonna cut your pay in half.’ First of all, we weren’t getting paid that much anyway, but understand she’s getting half-a-million dollars. So, seriously? You’re gonna take these five musicians and cut their pay in half?”
It has also resurfaced that New Ark, a group of musicians that contributed to ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’, sued Hill back in 1998 for using “their songs and production skills but failed to properly credit them for the work.” The legal dispute was eventually settled out of court in 2001.
Since the release of the iconic album, Glasper has turned down many collaboration requests from Lauryn Hill. He ended one of his comments to KBXX saying, quite matter-of-factly, of the award-winning female artist, “You haven’t done enough to be the way you are. You just have not. The one thing you did that was great, you didn’t do.”
Watch the full video the KBXX interview with Robert Glasper below.