It seems like only yesterday legendary (and legendarily nutty) rapper Lauryn Hill went to jail for tax evasion, though it’s safe to assume that the three months that have elapsed since she was booked has moved significantly slower for her.
Regardless, she’s a free woman today, and she has used her time inside usefully in the form of new music. A day ahead of her release from the minimum security complex in Danbury, Connecticut, Hill unleashed a new track via her official Tumblr called “Consumerism.”
The tune was recorded before she went away and was mixed while she was serving her sentence. “We did our best to eek out a mix via verbal and emailed direction, thanks to the crew of surrogate ears on the other side,” Hill explained on Tumblr.
“Consumerism” is a natural extension of “Neurotic Society (Compulsory Mix),” which Hill released just before she reported to prison. It’s got the same rapid-fire cadence and jittery production, with Hill spitting out a lightning-quick series of “isms.”
It’s the first of a series of songs that will appear under the header Letters From Exile. “Letters From Exile is material written from a certain space, in a certain place,” Hill wrote. “I felt the need to discuss the underlying socio-political, cultural paradigm as I saw it.”
Listen to the song below:
That’s an awful lot to unpack, so let’s let Hill have the last word:
“I haven’t been able to watch the news too much recently, so I’m not hip on everything going on,” she continued on her Tumblr. “But inspiration of this sort is a kind of news in and of itself, and often times contains an urgency that precedes what happens. I couldn’t imagine it not being relevant. Messages like these I imagine find their audience, or their audience finds them, like water seeking it’s level.”
So there you go: Completely explained!