Tax Evasion: Why Lauryn Hill is nothing but a common criminal

Tax Evasion: Why Lauryn Hill is nothing but a common criminal

What do actor Wesley Snipes, Country singer Willie Nelson, Baseball star Darryl Strawberry, and hip hop icon Lauryn Hill have in common? They're all common criminals. Because tax evasion is hella illegal.

Today, Complex .com reported:

"Earlier this month, Lauryn Hill explained why she went three years without paying taxes. Instead of going along with the system she pursued a very alternative lifestyle, and giving a cut of her money to the government wasn't part of the plan.

In 2005, 2006, and 2007, Lauryn made $1.8 million, and she didn't file tax returns on any of it. Ms. Hill admitted to the judge that she intentionally and willingly failed to file and she entered a guilty plea that could earn her three years in jail and $75,000 in fines. For now, she's out on bail."

And the Twittersphere has already resorted to making jokes about it, too. Even Rashida Jones has taken shots at Lauryn:

Damn Rashida. You just lost HELLA cool points.

Fact is, I don't think it's a laughing matter. I know that everybody has to pay taxes. I know it's illegal not to. By definition, someone who commits a crime is a criminal, I know that nobody is above the law. But the idea that Lauryn Hill could potentially go to jail doesn't sit right with me People have been calling her crazy for years, but real talk, everything she ever feared is happening right now. Maybe she brought it on herself. Maybe her reasons aren't understandable. It just makes me feel sick when someone like her becomes a punch line of a joke.

Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, it is totally legal to not only expose a celebrity's legal troubles, but it's also legal to publish it in blogs, magazines, or wherever else you wanna. Celebrities don't get to handle their affairs in a private way like most people, their faults and failings get publicized right alongside the rest of the day's entertainment news. the masses are able to instantly pass judgement, in their most human moments celebs are exposed to intense scrutiny, conjecture, judgement, and labeling. It's the cost of celebrity. I'm an entertainer. That scares the hell out of me.

Failing to file taxes isn't exactly hardened criminal activity, but it is highly illegal. And it seems especially careless that a women who is a mom could think she'd get away with not paying taxes on 1.8 million in income. However, as an aspiring recording artist who has been influenced by Lauryn's music since I was a kid, I am saddened by this. No major news outlet seems to be sympathetic, and that is why she is being aired out in the media like a common criminal.

I don't believe that there is anything common about this situation. The same media that is mocking Lauryn's legal troubles today are the ones who have been accusing her of being crazy for years. So...I dunno... if you truly believe she is crazy then is it fair to be airing her out like this? If you are really concerned that she has mental issues then is it right to tear her down for showing such poor judgement?

I voiced my feelings about this on my Facebook fan page. People are taking this very personally, on both sides of the issue.

People these days complain about how "conscious" artists are lacking in the music industry, but in all honestly there is no longer any incentive to be a conscious rapper. The people who support your political views and fist-in-the-air righteousness in your music don't condone your radical beliefs in real life, when it leads you to doing something like this. For everything Lauryn contributed to hip hop culture and the image of minority women in America, has she  not at the very least earned the right to not be made a mockery of? If rappers who quote Bible scriptures in their lyrics and disappointment in our government are bashed for being equally as imperfect as everyone else, then I don't wanna hear anyone bitching about how "unconscious" Nicki Minaj or Iggy Azalea's lyrics are, because it's been proven that people will pass judgement on them either way. Lauryn pled guilty. She had her reasons, but what she did was wrong. Yet, to me, that still doesn't justify the media treating her like she's nothing but a common criminal.


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  • Lauryn Hill is a very polarizing figure, its not the first time the media jumped on her though. Remember the whole thing about white people buying her albums? (which was completely false) Eminem certainly didn't help by quoting it in one of his songs, and its unfortunate how people believe everything they hear. When it comes to the lack of privacy its the price you pay for being an entertainer, you will always be an easy mark and are guilty until proven innocent. As for her taxes, I don't buy any conspiracy theories, she did something that would trigger an audit and will have to pay restitution to avoid prison time. Its unfortunate that the most talented artists of our generation seem to be the most troubled.

  • In reply to jimmymack:

    I dont think she's troubled...she just refused to pay taxes.Plus the bull she was going through with her "babies daddy"..I meant her kids father didnt make things any better.The pressure of life simply got to her and we all handle pressure differently.Just goes to show money dont buy happiness!!!!!

  • Lauren Hill is not crazy and I feel for her.She is just doing what the majority of us don't have the balls to do.I urge people to do their homework and investigate the orgins and intent of taxes.And it never ceases to amaze me when average working wage people put their 2 cents in saying "if I got to pay taxes on my $30k a year wage" she should have to pay on her millions.Most of the people in that tax bracket under $50K a year get a refund back so they really pay no taxes.It was just a short term loan to the government .Unless they were single then maybe they had to pay and didn't get a refund.It always was said that the majority of us don't read enough and the ones that do read the wrong things.Most of the info on this crooked government of ours is in plain site and public record.In order to impose their will and influence public opinion our government will stoop to any level and use any scare tactic to impose fear and control the masses.99.9% of "laws" are simply the opinions of the very few used to control the many.Anything outside of common human decency laws such as laws against killing,stealing,sex crimes,human and civil rights are just someones opinion and you disagreeing with it doesn't make you crazy or evil.In fact the individuals imposing these laws are the evil ones.Like Ron Paul once said if Americans knew all of the behind the scenes secrets and corruption in our government the streets of this nation would run with blood from the bodies of the lawmakers and authorities in this country.I feel bad for you entertainers,musicians,actors etc.You don't get to lobby,kiss ass and influence congress as they do in big oil,energy,insurance and banking.Your income is taxed as straight capital gains.You don't get the sneaky tax deductions and write offs that knock your tax rate down to under 15%.I'm a black male entrepreneur and I wont be voting for president Obama this coming election.Its not about race I just don't support his policies giving government so much power and control. Anyway I support Lauren 100% and thank her for taking a stand.The media and general public also called Cynthia McKinney crazy when she spoke out against George Bush and the war and truth later came out that what she was saying was true and we did go to war under false pretenses and false intelligence.Anyway Lauren's not crazy or a criminal she's just tired of the bull shit that goes on in this country.May I suggest she expatriate to Belize,Panama,Costa Rica or even Cuba.She would live like a queen in any of these locations for pennies on the dollar.Plus they have less restrictions and government interference as far as business and taxation is concerned.Our government is like the broke neighborhood debt,trying to instill fear,taking money from those close to them and will never learn until someone stands up against it.And for everyone else who wishes to join the anti-tax movement go to and I love you Lauren and wish you the best.

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    If you are going to write for Chicago Now you really should not make a mistake like pluralizing "women" when you are talking about one singular "woman". HERE: And it seems especially careless that a women who is a mom could think she'd get away with not paying taxes on 1.8 million in income.

  • In reply to Lauren Stevens:

    There is no "if" I am going to write for ChicagoNow. I have been doing it for three years. Since u get your rocks off by being the typo police, I am going to hire u. I'll give u $10 to go through all of my blogs and give me notes on the typos. That way I'll be typo-free and u'll have something constructive to do with your time, something that you are CLEARLY passionate about. Ok, go ahead and get started and let me know where I can send your ten bucks when u're done. Thanx!

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