Lauryn Hill Defends Her Discipline Methods After Daughter Aired Her Out

Singer Lauryn Hill performs at the EXPRESS Rocks Hosted By Skullcandy And Vevo At Harry O's Featuring Lauryn Hill on January 26
(Photo by Clayton Chase/Getty Images)

Lauryn Hill’s daughter Selah opened up about her family earlier this week.

Selah revealed she had daddy issues from an absent father. In the two-hour Live she said, 

“Honestly guys, I’m just hurting. I can’t even front that I’m not,” she said. “I’ve been hurting for so much of my life and so much of my life has been me avoiding how much I’m really hurting just from the circumstances.”

She also revealed shocking information about her mom’s discipline methods. The 21-year-old said her mom was an “amazing woman” but she was “angry.” Selah spoke on how her mom spanked them with a belt, made threats, and wasn’t easy to talk to. Most of the time Selah and her siblings lived with their grandparents. 

“And then the threats, the constant threats… That belt man. That’s that slave sht. That was some slavery sht. All Black parents were on that sh*t.”

Lauryn wrote a long detailed letter addressing her daughter’s statements The Jasmine Brand reports. According to the singer, she said her daughter has a right to express herself but says “back then” we were held to a different standard (referring to getting disciplined). She said that she was dealing with a lot of pressure and was protecting her children. “My children are strong-willed and powerful, better I discipline them at home than have them shot down in the streets or locked up.”

Take a look at the full statement;

“Selah has every right to express herself, I encourage it, but she also got the discipline that black children get because we are held to a different standard. The discipline was seen through the lens of a young child who also had no place to reconcile me as mom, and me as a larger than life public figure. It took me a while to realize that my children, and probably everyone who knew me saw me in this duality. To me, I am just me. If I am guilty of anything it is disciplining in anger, not in disciplining. The toxic venom I ingested for standing on principle, and confronting systemic racism far BEFORE it was the thing to say or do (everything you NOW celebrate everyone for!)—the people who called me CRAZY and have yet to apologize and say ‘oh yeah, we were wrong’, OF COURSE that seeped into my home, it was intended to. An entire operation trying to break an artist with a voice and knowledge of herself—way ahead of her time—was in motion. I was affected, my family was affected, my children were affected.” She goes on to say,

“When I realized that the pressure on me was so incredibly hypocritical and unfair, criminal even, that even my children weren’t allowed to be children, I stepped away. I wasn’t removed, I STEPPED AWAY. Weening myself and my family from the addictions that systems of control attempt to use through fame and celebrity is no joke. It’s painful and people were not above using my children to keep exploiting me. Keeping a child sober-minded in the midst of everyone trying to seduce and bribe and coerce is an incredibly challenging thing to do. Sell a few million copies of a recording and see the wolves and sharks for yourself before you determine what’s appropriate and what’s not. The danger was REAL! And this danger I faced alone, unsupported as I should have been, and dumped on by the same people who only a few years before built a fortune off the same gifts they later tried to deny and then COPY. My life has been about protecting my children from all kinds of danger, and that’s only possible when you protect yourself from the danger as well.” She continues,

“As my children mature they see the state of the world, before that, ALL they saw was me seemingly blocking the fun, not me aggressively blocking the trap. Selah and I speak often and she knows we are both working through our stuff—the exploitation, the abandonment, the mistreatment and the muzzling of our own gifts and intelligence to make it more comfortable for others, which is a big mistake to do, it can ONLY lead to implosion or explosion. We’re both learning and healing, and each of my children has a similar story and journey. My children are strong-willed and powerful, better I discipline them at home than have them shot down in the streets or locked up. They are not necessarily passive people, and they’re also learning how to navigate a world full of beauty but also full of danger. This was in no way easy to do as a single parent battling a public attack for not conforming, and single-handedly financially responsible for so many.”

“Sometimes fame and money amplify not only problems but can magnify the darkest and most cruel and selfish qualities in humans. Greed, jealousy, envy, covetousness, violence, fear. People see someone who they think is powerful or has something they want and scan for the slightest vulnerability to exploit. Sometimes being successful at something is like walking around with a bullseye on your back and your children’s backs. Raising children and attempting to preserve their youth while also preparing them for such complicated circumstances is nothing short of walking a tight rope. It requires an impeccable balance. Now, why would anyone benefiting from exploiting instability want to see me master that balance? They wouldn’t. Could you imagine what the world would look like if someone said ‘hey, this or that artist has an addiction problem, or this one is being taken advantage of, how can we help?’ rather than turning it into the news. I wonder who’d still be here today?”

Take a look: