I was sifting through an old article from MTV, ranking some of the greatest hip-hop acts of all time. There were so many groups to name that could have all been evenly worthy of taking top spot(s). From Wu-Tang to Outkast. Public Enemy, Salt 'N Pepa, and of course A Tribe Called West. However, it was when I hit The Fugees did I decide to turn on the Spotify and start streaming some of that amazing 90's hip-hop.
While the group only lasted for two full albums, their impact on the music industry as a whole echoes even today. If you don't believe me, simply type their name in a YouTube search bar, and read the comments of any video. Scrolling through them, one phrase kept coming up again and again. The words "real music" was apparent through both comments and many reviews of either Blunted on Reality, or the multi-platinum The Score.
"We'll show you how the refugees do."
I remember being introduced to "Fu-Gee-La", "Ready or Not", and "Killing Me Softly" thanks to the golden era of Much Music/MTV, and with the help of some older cousins (much love Jennifer). With becoming one of the biggest albums of 1996, if not the one of the biggest hip-hop albums of the decade, this was one of the groups who reached many household across the world. It was one of my earliest introductions to hip-hop as a young kid. While the ability to understand concepts of their lyrics at the time, the music had great hooks, amazing vocals, and seemed to be a widely accepted group.
Taking home 2 Grammy Awards in 1997 (Best Rap Album, Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group), The Score definitely set themselves among some of the greatest hip-hop groups of all time.
"Me without a mic is like a beat without a snare."
With Wyclef Jean and Lauren Hill's careers taking off quite well in the late 90's, it was a shame to see them call it quits in 1997. Thankfully, the world would get another chance to see them in 2004 when they performed together on Dave Chapelle's Block Party, the BET Awards in 2005, and a handful of charity events.
While it doesn't seem likely that the group is soon to reunite and tour again, one can only hope that the trio can set aside any differences, and realize the inspiration they have given both future hip-hop artists, but the global community as a whole. The group spoke of subjects such as refugees, fame, greed, hard times, good times, and many other areas that people can relate to.
Here's to the hope that we may see the group come together, or have the world produce something of equal ferocity, and natural poetry.
"Of course, Lauryn Hill was one of a trio, aided and abetted by the patois-spitting Wyclef Jean and the bullish Pras. Each of them brought some serious bars to the table, and the dynamic between still gives The Score an elastic unpredictability that wouldn't have worked if it was any of the rappers' solo projects. But Lauryn Hill runs an absolute lyrical clinic on the album, dropping at a time when hip-hop needed it the most." -Tom Barnes, Mic.com