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The Globe and Mail

Lauryn Hill’s new post-jail single slams Consumerism (and a whole lot more)

This April 15, 2011, file photo shows singer Lauryn Hill performing during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, Calif.

Spencer Weiner/AP


Lauryn Hill; streaming here

Lauryn Hill busted out of prison late last week, rhymes blazin'.

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The tax-evading, rap-parading, social-crusading former Fugee no longer kills softly with her words. Instead, on her new single Consumerism, she speed-rhymes a flow of "isms" with a ferociousness that John Lennon could only imagine: European fetishism, sexism, dishpan Afroism, racism, neo-McCarthyism and "egotism, egotism, egotism, egotism, egotism, egotism, egotism, egotism, egotism – egotism."

The beat rocks freaky and rat-a-tat, and a flute floats free like a butterfly. It's a brutal spew for the ages – "Consumerism is running through him like a tumour in him" – and the chorus's chant sweetly predicts self-destruction.

Hill's three-month stint in the slammer did nothing to pacify her. This rehabilitation will not be televised.

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