Lauryn Hill took to Instagram on Thursday (April 14) urging California lawmakers to pass the FAIR Act, a labor law that would alter contract limits for artists.
California state assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez first introduced the FAIR Act—the Free Artists from Industry Restrictions Act—last year. Designed to limit recording contracts to seven years for artists based in California or labels based in California, the act is geared to help artists.
The “To Zion” singer-rapper is one of the bill’s biggest supporters. Her statement posted on social media read, “We would love to believe that businesses at the highest level are always run by fair practices and moral prerogatives, but this is more often than not, not the case. For this reason laws MUST exist that protect people from harsh and insensitive practices like artist suppression, and willful sabotage and neglect. Record companies are still peopled and run by… Well, people—with personal policies, biases and issues we may know nothing about. Artists can easily fall prey to the internal politics of business, someone inside simply not liking them, or bullying and intimidation and the attacks that come when someone resists that coercion.”
Known for speaking out against greed and corruption within the industry, she pointed out that those components may “pervert the creative intentions of young dreamers who don’t realize they’re up against a system with a history of using and crushing people who don’t comply with their agenda.”
The New Jersey native continued, “We have a history of examples, of albums, of bands, and of people whose influence on popular culture has literally changed the world. When these voices go silence and repressed, the world is dramatically affected. No institution should be allowed the opportunity to control the market by controlling the output of a creative being for some ridiculous, indefinite period of time.”
Though some key figures in the music industry including Irving Azoff, founder of the Music Artists Coalition, have stated that streaming has drastically affected the industry, yet there are little to no laws that reflect this shift. If passed, the law would also extend the same protections to TV and film productions, too.
Read Ms. Hill’s statements above.