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Quotable: Lauryn Hill Explains Why She Left Us And If She’ll Be Back

“There were a number of different reasons. But partly, the support system that I needed was not necessarily in place. There were things about myself, personal-growth things, that I had to go through in order to feel like it was worth it. In fact, as musicians and artists, it’s important we have an environment — and I guess when I say environment, I really mean the [music] industry, that really nurtures these gifts. Oftentimes, the machine can overlook the need to take care of the people who produce the sounds that have a lot to do with the health and well-being of society, or at least some aspect of society. And it’s important that people be given the time that they need to go through, to grow, so that the consciousness level of the general public is properly affected. Oftentimes, I think people are forced to make decisions prematurely. And then that sound radiates … I have five children. The youngest is 2 now, so she’s old enough that I can leave her for a period of time and know she’s going to be OK. That’s one reason. And I think it’s just time. I’m starting to get excited again. Believe it or not, I think what people are attracted to about me, if anything, is my passion. People got exposed to my passion through music and song first. I think people might realize, you know, ‘We love the way she sounds, we love the music, but I think we just love how fearless she is. How boundless she is, when it comes to what she wants to do.’ And I think that can be infectious.”

Lauryn Hill gave a rare interview to NPR, in which she speaks candidly about the business reasons that led to her music hiatus, but she makes no reference to the personal aspects (ahem, Rohan Marley) that she alluded to during her MTV Unplugged special. Either way, I’m happy Ms. Hill, as she wants people to call her, is back onstage, even if I can’t see her at this summer’s Rock the Bells festival. [NPR]

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