Lauryn Hill Defends Disciplining Daughter Selah, Says She Wanted To Protect Children From The Danger In The Music Industry
“some slavery sh*t when raising her.”
While she praises how much of an amazing woman her mother Lauryn Hill is, she also says that she was “angry.” Adding that she lived with her grandmother “half the time.”
“My mom is an amazing woman, but she obviously didn’t do everything right. She was just very angry. So, so, so, so, so, so angry. She was literally not easy to talk to and then half the time we didn’t live with her. I lived with my grandparents half the time… It’s crazy, I’m playing this trauma back in my head as I speak to you.”
During the candid chat, Selah Marley compared her mother’s form of punishment to “some slavery sh*t,” saying that she was often threatened accompanied by belt beatings.
“And then the threats, the constant threats… That belt man. That’s that slave sh*t. That was some slavery sh*t. All Black parents were on that sh*t.”
Selah Marley also recalled words her mom would say to her to incite fear.
“You want me to embarrass you? You want me to give you something to cry about?”
“I’m not mad at a little discipline, but what can a five-year-old do? What can a seven-year-old do?”
Since Selah’s revelation, her mother Lauryn Hill wrote a lengthy letter addressing her daughter’s claims about the discipline she received. Lauryn also took the time to reveal that she stepped away from the music industry to protect her children and acknowledged that she too is learning and healing from the experience.
“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.”
“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.”
“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 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 news. I wonder who’d still be here today?”
Selah Marley’s dad Rohan Marley, came forward after his daughter opened up about having severe daddy issues, because of her father not being present growing up. Rohan Marley released a statement saying the following,
“I love her very much and do apologize for any contributions I may have added by arguing in front of her as a child. I’ve grown as a man, a spiritual being and a father. I am constantly growing and will teach my children to always take the higher road in any disagreements.
I will be there for her no matter how many hours, days, months or years it will take. I will be the best Dad that I can be. One Love.”
What are your thoughts on Lauryn Hill’s letter defending her parenting style? Share your thoughts in the comments below.