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Entertainment Weekly


New Ms. Lauryn Hill song plays in Russell Simmons sexual assault documentary On the Record

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Movie Details

Until the documentary On the Record secures new distribution, the public may have only three more opportunities to hear a previously unreleased song from Ms. Lauryn Hill.

Ms. Lauryn Hill’s track “Damnable Heresies” plays in full over the closing credits to the Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering-directed film, which premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival on Saturday (Jan. 25). The movie plays the Park City, Utah, fest again tonight (Jan. 26), Jan. 28, and Feb. 1.

“This previously unreleased track was specifically chosen by Ms. Hill to appear in the film,” a spokesperson for On the Record told EW, noting that Ms. Lauryn Hill also wrote the song.

Victor Boyko/Getty

In the 1990s, the Fugees member (then known as simply Lauryn Hill) worked closely with Drew Dixon, who is a central source in On the Record, a doc centered on women who have accused music mogul Russell Simmons of rape and sexual misconduct. Ms. Lauryn Hill wrote and produced “A Rose Is Still a Rose” by Aretha Franklin, one of the first breakout single moments in Dixon’s career. In the film and in reports, Dixon has accused Simmons of raping her when they worked together at Def Jam Records.

The future of the documentary is in limbo as Apple shelved plans to distribute the film on the Apple+ platform and Oprah Winfrey withdrew as executive producer only two weeks ago, citing to the New York Times that the film was being shown to audiences “before I believe it is complete. Ziering and Dick — the Oscar-nominated documentary team behind The Hunting Ground and Invisible War, which are also about sexual assault — said they had the research and corroboration to move forward with their film. Simmons has denied any wrongdoing; Ziering and Dick said he declined to be interviewed for On the Record.

Music and the music industry plays a centerpiece to On the Record, which boasts a varied soundtrack; Terence Blanchard composed its score.

Ms. Lauryn Hill recently contributed another fresh song to a film recently: “Guarding the Gates” appears on the soundtrack to 2019’s Queen & Slim, and was her first new solo song in six years.

Correction (1/26, 6:58 p.m. PST): EW previously reported that the song plays partly in the beginning of the film; it plays only over the credits.

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