This weekend, pianist, composer, and producer Robert Glasper opened up during a radio interview with Houston’s The Box 97.9 about a negative experience he had working in Lauryn Hill’s band in 2008, as Jezebel points out. Glasper describes rehearsals for a gig on behalf of a jewelry corporation, for which Hill was paid $500,000. He says that after a week of 10-hour rehearsals (during which Hill consistently changed the entire set), Hill’s manager informed the band that Hill was not “feeling” the band’s playing and that she was going to be cutting the pay in half. Glasper, understandably angry, said he almost bailed on the gig.
“First of all, we weren’t getting paid that much anyway, but understand she’s getting half-a-million dollars,” Glasper said. “So, seriously? You’re gonna take these five musicians and cut their pay in half?” (Eventually, he explained, he was paid in full.)
Glasper suggested this was part of a larger pattern of misbehavior on Hill’s part, saying that she has a penchant for firing bands mid-tour, auditioning new bands in front of them on the day that their shows were scheduled (Glasper claims he knew roughly “15 guys” who had been fired from Hill’s band). The pianist also claimed that Hill did not write all of the music she claimed to have on The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. “She took the credit for making the classic album,” Glasper said. “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.” (Hill was indeed sued for not properly crediting co-writers and producers on Miseducation in 1998. The 50-page suit, which was settled out of court in 2001, came from New Ark, a group of musicians with whom Hill collaborated on nearly all of the album’s songs.)
Glasper went so far as to claim that Lauryn Hill could not (or would not) ever tune her own guitar in rehearsal. He also mentioned that Hill asks people to call her “Ms. Hill” and often not look her directly in the eyes. “Lauryn Hill should be able to be cool,” he concluded. “You haven’t done enough to be the way you are. You just have not.” Watch the interview below, with the section about Hill beginning around the 26:30 mark.