The former Fugees singer was given two weeks to pay $504,000 in back taxes before her sentencing in New Jersey, with additional state taxes and penalties bringing the total to $900,000. She paid off her debt in the ongoing tax evasion case just hours before her court appearance.
Hill plead guilty last year of failing to report income of more than $1.8 million between 2005 and 2007. After failing to make restitution in the case by her original April 22 court date, the judge postponed the payment deadline.
In April, as her sentencing date approached, TMZ reported that Hill asked for leniency, citing “terrifying threats.” Hill’s lawyer rebuffed the claims.
“We’re not asking for leniency over ‘terrifiying threats,’” Hill’s attorney Nathan J. Hochman told Radio.com. “At sentencing, we will be seeking lenience from the judge based on who Ms. Hill is, what she has done positively in the past, what she does in the present, and what we hope she will be doing in the future. She is fully committed to paying back all her tax obligations going forward.”
Hill took to her Tumblr blog to speak out on the issue last week and promised new music, outlining a deal she penned with Sony. She reluctantly released a new song called “Neurotic Society (Compulsory Mix)” over the weekend. With the music came a message about the rushed song.
“Here is a link to a piece that I was ‘required’ to release immediately, by virtue of the impending legal deadline,” she wrote on her Tumblr. “I love being able to reach people directly, but in an ideal scenario, I would not have to rush the release of new music… but the message is still there.”
The social critique is the first of five tracks she is set to release under her deal with Sony, according to Pitchfork. The agreement also has her launching her own label, Observe Creation Music, under which she will release a new album later this year.
The upcoming album is long-awaited by fans of the Hill, who hasn’t released a full-length since 1998′s GRAMMY-winning The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.
- Nee-Sa Lossing, Radio.com