Lauryn Hill's disappearance from the recording industry after the international success of 1998's 'The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill' remains one of hip-hop's greatest mysteries. While there has always been scores of rumors, excuses and theories, Hill hasn't spoken up enough in the past decade to actually set the record straight. With a confirmed return to the stage planned for this year's Rock The Bells tour, Hill recently sat down with NPR to discuss her lack of production since that initial peak.

"There were a number of different reasons," she says in the interview. "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. In fact, as musicians and artists, it's important we have an environment -- and I guess when I say environment, I really mean the [music] industry, that really nurtures these gifts. Oftentimes, the machine can overlook the need to take care of the people who produce the sounds that have a lot to do with the health and well-being of society, or at least some aspect of society."

Hill clearly views artistic creation as something opposed to an industry that often rushes products, forces progression and drives out musicians that fail to produce. For her, that rushed evolution results in albums that lack individuality.

"It's important that people be given the time that they need to go through, to grow, so that the consciousness level of the general public is properly affected," she explained. "Oftentimes, I think people are forced to make decisions prematurely. And then that sound radiates."

For more on Hill's interview with NPR, head here.