Robert Glasper, the Grammy-winning producer and pianist, recently sat down for an interview with Houston radio station 97.9 The Box. In a video posted to YouTube on August 13, you can see the host of the Madd Hatta Morning Show egg on Glasper to talk about “those egotistical, hard personalities” in the music industry. You then hear everyone in the room react when Glasper mentions Lauryn Hill.
Someone off-camera yells, “Why you do Lauryn Hill like that?” Glasper responds, “No. Why she do me like that?”
From there, Glasper rattles off a list of Hill’s alleged offenses, unknown to many of her fans unless they played in her band or knew someone who did. Glasper says in 2008, a friend of his invited him to play in Hill’s band for a 20-minute show, for which he says Hill was set to get paid $500,000. After Glasper agreed to play, he says Hill would show up every day for a 10-hour rehearsal and change the set every day. On the last day, Glasper says Hill’s manager walked in and told everyone Hill was disappointed with how the band had learned the music, and that their pay would be cut in half.
Glasper’s response to the manager’s news: “I was eating a beef patty, I’ll never forget it,” he tells the radio station. “I was eating a beef patty, and I was like, ‘When I finish my beef patty, I’m going home, so y’all can do what y’all need to do.’”
The power move apparently worked: Glasper says he got paid in the end, but he didn’t come back for the last rehearsal and claimed he’d been disrespected. (He was the principle piano player at the time.) But he’s clearly remembered the disrespect (for years!) and let it all out on this show.
Among other things, Glasper confirmed rumors that Hill doesn’t like people to look her in the eye, that she prefers to be called “Ms. Hill,” and that she likes to fire bands while they’re on tour. Glasper also accuses Hill of stealing the music on her album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and says she doesn’t know how to—or simply didn’t want to—tune her own guitar on tour.
The interview is brutal (and obviously from his perspective), and the hosts are repeatedly incredulous as Glasper tells his story. I can see how what he’s describing would be annoying to deal with, but is there a chance that it’s hypercritical? At one point, someone tells him that Hill will hear the interview. “I’m ready, I don’t care,” he responds. “Because nothing I’m saying is a lie.” Glasper adds, “Look, I’ve met Stevie Wonder and hung out with Stevie. I’ve met Quincy Jones, hung out with Quincy Jones. I’ve met Herbie Hancock, hung out with Herbie Hancock. If those three people can be cool, Lauryn Hill should be able to be cool. You haven’t done enough to be the way you are. You just have not.”
Watch the full video interview above.