Lauryn Hill dropped her first new solo song in five years on Friday morning, “Guarding the Gates,” from the forthcoming film “Queen & Slim.” While the song was announced several weeks ago, Hill songs have been few and far between in the 20 years since her Grammy-cleanup blockbuster debut solo album, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.”
Hill’s last solo release was the 2014 song “Black Rage,” which she dedicated to the citizens of Ferguson, Missouri after Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer. However, she has toured steadily — including a “Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” 20 th anniversary tour last year — and made the occasional guest appearance, most recently with Pusha-T in his 2019 single “Coming Home,” which will appear on his upcoming album.
Also last year, she angrily denied accusations that she had deprived “Miseducation” musicians of songwriting credits. “I’ve remained patient and quiet for a very long time, allowing people to talk, speculate, and project, while keeping my nose to the grindstone fighting for freedoms many folks aren’t even aware matter. The arrogance of presumption that allows someone to think that they could have all the facts about another person’s life and experience, is truly and remarkably… presumptuous.
“[Musicians] may be able to make suggestions, but you can’t write FOR me,” she continued. “I am the architect of my creative expression. No decisions are made without me. I hire master builders and masterful artisans and technicians who play beautifully, lend their technical expertise, and who translate the language that I provide into beautifully realized music.”