Album of The Week (21st Sept) - The Score by Fugees
Our Album of the Week is “The Score” by the Fugees. It was released on 13th February 1996 and it was a studio rap album made for everyone. The album topped the Billboard 200 and went platinum six times by October 1997!
“The Score” was recorded in Wyclef Jean’s uncle’s home in a studio called the “Booga basement”. It contains a lot of political rants, pop culture references, soulful vocals and spiritual musings, and many more.
Our personal faves from the track include; “Killing Me Softly”, “No Woman, No Cry”, “Ready or Not” and “Fu-Gee-La”.
In ‘Killing Me Softly’, the Fugees bring Roberta Flack’s 1973 soul classic into the hip-hop era. The song was huge in the U.S and in the U.K and made Lauryn Hill a superstar. In the U.K. it became the top-selling single of 1996. Without the context of the affair between Hill and Clef, it’s a lovely cover that maintains the spirit of the original while taking the material in new directions. When listened to now, after the subsequent revelations about their romance, it’s doubly deadly.
“No Woman, No Cry” is very much Jamaica meets Jersey (being a Bob Marley Cover), complete with lyrics about stolen cars and street-corner drug deals. “Everything is gonna be alright,” Clef sings, his accent shining through.
“Fu-Gee-La” is where Lauryn adds soulful toughness, swiping the hook from Teena Marie’s 1988 hit “Ooo La La La” and making it hers. It offers ghetto philosophizing from Clef, self-affirmations from Lauryn, and dependability from Pras.
“Ready or Not” was a U.K. chart-topper and one-time favorite song of former president Barack Obama! It’s another example of the Fugees going the divide-and-conquer route.
Some other Fugee tracks outside the album that no one can get enough of;
“Nappy heads”, a single released in 1994 from their debut album “Blunted on Reality”. It is considered as one of the best songs during that period ( if you know, you know) . It was their first entry on the Billboard 100 and topped at No 1 on the Billboard dance chart!
“Boom Biddy Bye Bye” Remix, a fantastic remix of the Cypress Hill “Boom Biddy Bye Bye'' and the iconic voice of Lauryn Hill stood out.
“Vocab”, the third single from the group's debut album, “Blunted on Reality” was co-produced by Pras and Wyclef and it is best-known for its remixes, which were both co-produced by Salaam Remi and the Fugees. The song peaked at number 22 on the Billboard rap chart in 1995.
This album was heavily intertwined in the daily routine of hip hop, reggae and soulful music lovers in Lagos and even made more individuals aware of the group’s talent.