Lauryn Hill is out of prison.
The former Fugees singer has completed her three-month sentence for tax evasion and was released yesterday morning (October 4) – “a few days early”, her lawyer told TMZ, “partly for good behaviour”. Hill will spend the next year under parole supervision, with the first three months under house arrest.
Hill served her time at the minimum security prison in Danbury, Connecticut that inspired the hit Netflix series Orange Is The New Black. Inmates at the facility live in open, barrack-style dormitories and are expected to work jobs such as maintenance, food catering and landscaping. Shortly after the singer was admitted, Hill’s team updated her Tumblr page with a message assuring fans she had received a “warm welcome” from her fellow inmates.
In 2012, Hill pleaded guilty to failing to pay taxes on more than £1.16 million ($1.8 million) earned from 2005 to 2007. Sentencing also took into account unpaid state and federal taxes from 2008 and 2009, bringing the total earnings to around £1.5 million ($2.3 million).
On the eve of her release from prison, Hill shared a rare new song called ‘Consumerism’, which is labelled as part 1 of a collection named ‘Letters From Exile’. The track came with a statement from the singer, in which she explains that the song is from a recording session she completed prior to entering prison.
“‘Consumerism’ is part of some material I was trying to finish before I had to come in. 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,” reads the statement. “‘Letters From Exile’ is material written from a certain space, in a certain place. I felt the need to discuss the underlying socio-political, cultural paradigm as I saw it. I haven’t been able to watch the news too much recently, so I’m not hip on everything going on. 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.”