Robert Glasper Accuses Lauryn Hill of "Stealing Music," Mistreating Musicians
"Those songs were written by other people, and they did not get their credit"
Published Aug 15, 2018Last month, attendees of Lauryn Hill's 20 year anniversary tour stop in Toronto found themselves to be the latest crowd in a long line of concertgoers who walked away unsatisfied with the artist's performance. Now, jazz pianist and producer Robert Glasper is alleging that Hill's questionable behaviour goes beyond the lighted stage.
Glasper has accused Hill of "stealing music," allegedly cutting the pay of her backing band days before touring and holding auditions for band positions while touring in different cities. As Vulture points out, Glasper made the remarks while appearing on Houston's KBXX as a guest on The Madd Hatta Morning Show.
Glasper alleged that Hill has "stolen all of [his] friends' music," adding, "[The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill] 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."
Glasper later reiterated, "okay, you steal music," referring to Hill, and expanded on the comment as follows:
I've met Stevie Wonder and hung out with Stevie Wonder. I've met Quincy Jones and hung out with Quincy Jones. I've met Herbie Hancock, hung out with Herbie Hancock. If those three people can be cool, Lauryn Hill should be able to be cool. You haven't done enough to be the way you are. The one thing you did that was great, you didn't do… I'm out here.
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!
She couldn't tune her guitar in rehearsal. We were in rehearsal, she had my boy Benji tune her guitar. She would come into rehearsal and say, "Benji, guitar." And just hold it out like this. And he would run and tune her guitar.
In 1998, Hill was sued by a group of musicians named New Ark, who claimed that the vocalist "used their songs and production skills but failed to properly credit them for the work." The case was settled out of court in 2001.
Earlier in the interview, Glasper spoke of his own experience playing one show in Hill's band in 2008, alleging that the band was subjected to a week of 10-hours-per-day rehearsals for a 20-minute show:
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?
Glasper also alleged that Hill will hold auditions for her backing band while on tour. "One of my boys flew to Japan to do shows," he recalled. "While [Hill]'s in Japan, she's holding auditions in the hotel, in the ballroom for her band. That's super gangsta! And nothing's wrong. The bands are good. She gets the best musicians. She just has a thing."
Watch Glasper's interview in the player below, and pore over a transcript here [via MadameNoire]. Late last month, Hill cancelled a handful of dates on her recent tour due to "unforeseen production issues."