Lauryn Hill Responds to Criticisms of Her Tardiness: “You’re Lucky I Make It on This Stage Every Night”

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Lauryn Hill has responded to criticisms of her tardiness at concerts. The singer/rapper performed in Los Angeles on Saturday night (November 4) as part of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill 25th Anniversary Tour. True to form, she arrived a bit later than scheduled, but she confronted the issue directly. 

In a widely circulated clip, Hill passionately explained why her fans should appreciate her presence. “I hear, ‘She’s late. She’s late a lot,’” she said. “Yo, you’re lucky I make it on this stage every night. I don’t do it because they let me. I do it because I stand here in the name of God.”

She also hinted at the reason behind having only one album, citing a lack of support. “God is the one who allows me to do it, who surrounded me with family and community when there was no support, when the album sold so many records and nobody showed up and said, ‘Hey, would you like to make another one?’ So I went around the world and played the same album over and over and over and over again. Because we’re survivors. We’re not just the survivors, we’re the thrivers.”

Ms. Hill has a history of arriving late to concerts. In 2018, she apologized for being two hours late to the Brussels and Paris stops of her 20th anniversary tour.

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“We’ve had a few challenges in these early shows,” she wrote. “With deep gratitude I come on stage to perform an album that means so much to so many. Every day we push past inertia to present something sincere. Thank you for coming, supporting and for your patience and understanding.”

That wasn’t the end of it. Her performance at the Playground Festival in Glasgow, Scotland back in 2019 faced similar controversy. The talented singer was accused of showing up an hour and 15 minutes late for her performance, for which she apologized once again.

“My sincere apologies Glasgow for the late show and shorter set,” she began. “I appreciate the energy and support I did receive from the great crowd, and the patience of the promoters. I hope to come back and make it up to the Glasgow audience.”

She continued “It is only with great respect and Love for my art and the audience that I take the stage every performance. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time in Europe, the crowds have been great and incredibly receptive. I look forward to my upcoming shows in Poland, Italy, Denmark, and the UK. Again, thank you, and my sincerest apologies for that shorter set.”

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In a verse on Nas‘ song “Nobody” from his album King’s Disease 2, Hill addressed her critics directly. “I don’t do the shit you do for popularity, They clearly didn’t understand when I said “I Get Out” apparently, My awareness like Keanu in The Matrix/I’m savin’ souls and y’all complainin’ ’bout my lateness,” she raps.

Hill’s latest tour has also been plagued by vocal issues. Last week, she was forced to cancel shows in Texas and Philadelphia due to vocal strain.

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