Lauryn Hill's long freeze-out of the public is beginning to thaw.
Hill, whose 1998 solo debut "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" sold millions and won her a record five Grammys, has been largely MIA since. But in the new issue of Trace magazine — her first interview in years — Hill discusses her self-imposed exile, the Fugees and her future.
"If I make music now, it will only be to provide information to my own children," says Hill, who has four children, in the issue on newsstands July 14. "If other people benefit from it, then so be it."
Hill has continued making music — and her long-awaited follow-up to "Miseducation" is upcoming. Along with Wyclef Jean and Pras, Hill and her old Fugees mates have been reuniting recently for sporadic concerts, including a surprise performance at the BET Awards.
However, in the interview, Hill has few kind words about the group.
"The Fugees was a conspiracy to control, to manipulate and to encourage dependence," she says. "I took a lot of abuse that many people would not have taken in these circumstances."
The 30-year-old singer, who dated Jean when the group was together, says she saw a "spark" in him. Though she says she's now married to Rohan Marley, son of reggae legend Bob Marley and the father of her children, Hill emerged disillusioned with men.
"As a young woman, I saw the best in everyone, but I did not see the lust and insecurities of men," she says. "I discovered what a lie was, and how lies manifested themselves."
Hill's last recording was 2001's "MTV Unplugged" — a soul-searching breakdown of a performance where she confessed things such as, "I find it hard to say that everything is all right."
"In order to bare one's soul, one has to display their whole vulnerability, which most people will never do," Hill says. "These people who bare their souls end up being the source of ridicule."
Her reluctance to release new music since, she says, "is because a lot of the songs were transitional. The music was about how I was feeling at the time, even though I was documenting my distress as well as my bursts of joy."
No release date has yet been set for Hill's next album.