It’s kind of like Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start The Fire,” but FASTER.
With all the lyric videos out there, it’s like, uh, thanks, we appreciate the hints, but a song’s lyrics are kind of obvious. That’s not the case, however, with Lauryn Hill’s “Consumerism,” a rapid-fire blast of rhymes that sound like it’s almost hard for the singer herself to keep up with. And the resulting lyric video for “Consumerism” casts Hill’s haranguing track to a similarly frenetic cavalcade of imagery.
Watch Lauryn Hill’s “Consumerism” lyric video after the jump.
Hill released the song in October, right around the time she herself was being released from prison, where she spent a three-month stint for tax evasion. Aside from “Neurotic Society (Compulsory Mix),” released earlier this spring, it was the first new music from her in years.
“Consumerism,” Hill explained at the time, was rushed out due to her financial troubles. So it’s probably no surprise that’s she not feeling so hot about the whole capitalism thing lately, which is made pretty clear in the track.
“Consumerism running through them like a tumor in ’em/ Ageism, sexism, racism, chauvinism/ Capitalism running through them like the rumor business/ Separatism, skepticism, modernism, atheism/ Television running through them like an organism/ Mechanism, despotism, poisoning the ecosystem,” she lets loose in a stream of consciousness-style catalog of everything that’s wrong with the world today.
The isms are cut against a backdrop of representations of all those ideas, scenes of violence, power, celebrity, and fantasy.
“I felt the need to discuss the underlying socio-political, cultural paradigm as I saw it. I haven’t been able to watch the news too much recently, so I’m not hip on everything going on,” Hill said of the song when it was released. “But inspiration of this sort is a kind of news in and of itself, and often times contains an urgency that precedes what happens. I couldn’t imagine it not being relevant. Messages like these I imagine find their audience, or their audience finds them, like water seeking its level.”
Speaking of finding an audience, Hill has returned to the stage recently, performing a series of concerts over the past couple of weeks since her release, with more to come in D.C., Boston, and New York throughout December.
+ Watch Lauryn Hill’s “Consumerism” video.
Photo credit: Sony Music