"Consumerism" was written before Hill's incarceration, and mixed while she was locked-up.
A message posted by Hill on her Tumblr page explains the background to the track:
"Consumerism is part of some material I was trying to finish before I had to come in. We did our best to eek out a mix via verbal and emailed direction, thanks to the crew of surrogate ears on the other side. Letters From Exile is material written from a certain space, in a certain place. 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. 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."
The Grammy-winning singer was sentenced to jail-time earlier this year for failing to pay taxes on about $1 million in earnings. At the time of her arrest last year, Hill wrote a criticism rejecting pop culture's "climate of hostility, false entitlement, manipulation, racial prejudice, sexism and ageism."
Before sentencing, cited threats to herself and her family as the reason for bailing on the music industry and not meeting her tax obligations. It failed to impress the judge.
“Consumerism” will appear on Hill’s upcoming project, “Letters From Exile.”