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What happened to Lauryn Hill? It's a question that's been asked again and again in the last eight years. Hill has yet to follow up her classic 1998 solo debut and underrated 2002 Unplugged set with a second studio album, and she's given precious few interviews in that time. So kudos are due to NPR's Zoe Chace for tracking Hill down after her performance at this month's Harmony Festival and scoring some rare face time with one of music's most mysterious geniuses.

Asked by Chace why she hasn't released anything in nearly a decade, Hill actually gave an answer. "There were a number of different reasons," she's quoted as saying. "But partly, the support system that I needed was not necessarily in place. There were things about myself, personal-growth things, that I had to go through in order to feel like it was worth it…Oftentimes, I think people are forced [by the music industry] to make decisions prematurely. And then that sound radiates." That's a pretty vague explanation, to be sure. But it's more than we've heard from Hill in some time.

More encouraging yet is Hill's suggestion that she might be moving back toward a fuller performing career. "I have five children," she told Chace. "The youngest is two now, so she's old enough that I can leave her for a period of time and know she's going to be OK… And I think it's just time. I'm starting to get excited again."

It's great to hear those words, even if Hill's long-suffering fans know better than to get too excited just yet. Check out the full NPR piece and let us know if you're ready for her to come back.

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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