When artists experience danger and crisis under the effects of this kind of insidious manipulation, everyone easily accepts that there was something either dysfunctional or defective with the artist, rather than look at, and fully examine, the system and its means and policies of exploiting/’doing business’. Not only is this unrealistic, it is very dark in its motivation, conveniently targeting the object of their hero worship by removing any evidence that they ‘needed’ or celebrated this very same resource just years, months or moments before.
Since those who believe they need a hero/celebrity outnumber the actual heroes/celebrities, people feel safe and comfortably justified in numbers, committing egregious crimes in the name of the greater social ego. Ironically diminishing their own true hero-celebrity nature in the process. It was this schism and the hypocrisy, violence and social cannibalism it enabled, that I wanted and needed to be freed from, not from art or music, but the suppression/repression and reduction of that art and music to a bottom line alone, without regard for anything else.
Over-commercialization and its resulting restrictions and limitations can be very damaging and distorting to the inherent nature of the individual. I Love making art, I Love making music, these are as natural and necessary for me almost as breathing or talking. To be denied the right to pursue it according to my ability, as well as be properly acknowledged and compensated for it, in an attempt to control, is manipulation directed at my most basic rights! These forms of expression, along with others, effectively comprise my free speech! Defending, preserving, and protecting these rights are critically important, especially in a paradigm where veiled racism, sexism, ageism, nepotism, and deliberate economic control are still blatant realities!!!
Some Sunday morning reading for you folks courtesy of Ms Lauryn Hill.
In case you haven't heard, Lauryn Hill was charged with failing to file income tax returns for several years, the US attorney's office in New Jersey announced on Thursday.
Hill earned more than $1.6 million during 2005, 2006 and 2007, the three years that she failed to file returns, federal prosecutors said, with her primary source of income being royalties, and the 4 different businesses she owns.
In response to this news being made public, Ms Hill took to the web to respond, creating a Tumblr account, and penning this epic piece on how the unsavory business side of "Show-business" prompted her to be free of it entirely, and live "underground" for a period of time, "in order to build a community of people, like-minded in their desire for freedom and the right to pursue their goals and lives without being manipulated and controlled by a media protected military industrial complex with a completely different agenda."
It reminded me of this Dave Chappelle appearance on Inside The Actor's Studio a few years ago, in which he addressed, in his own way, what Lauryn Hill gives as reasons for not paying her taxes for 3 years; not that I'm defending not paying your taxes, by the way… Pay your taxes people, otherwise the IRS will come after you, as you can see; I'm just making connections, as I always like to do; but I also believe that they both are trying to have a conversation, and engage us on those pernicious aspects of what we call the entertainment industry.
You can read the entire Lauryn Hill piece HERE.
Here's the Dave Chappelle clip: