Comprised of three big names in rap music—Wyclef Jean, Pras, and Lauryn Hill—the Fugees dominated the charts in the 1990s. Though the trio only recorded two studio albums—Blunted on Reality in 1994 and The Score in 1996—the group remains iconic for its sound and lyrics.
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While Hill was the quintessential star, a beautiful biting lyricist who could sing with the all-time greats, Wyclef was widely known for his beat-making and songwriting, along with his Island style, and Pras with his deep voice was also immediately recognizable on the air with songs like “Ready Or Not.”
[RELATED: The Fugees Postpone ‘The Score’ 25th Anniversary Reunion Tour]
Today, the two-time Grammy Award-winning trio is remembered fondly, even if they continue to cancel tours and seem a bit unpredictable. Nevertheless, since disbanding in the late ’90s, their legend lives on, thanks to the supreme prowess of their combined skills and their careers as solo artists. Since then, the band reunited in 2004 and then in 2021 for short-lived tours.
We wanted to shine a light on the trio’s best songs, from “Killing Me Softly With His Song” on The Score to “Vocab” on their debut LP. So, without further ado, here are the Fugees’ Top 10 songs.
1. “Ready or Not”
Released on the 1996 LP, The Score, the song includes a sample from the Irish artist Enya, who considered suing the band for sampling her without permission (they later settled). Since then, the single was certified Platinum in both the United Kingdom and the United States. The video or the song cost over 1.3 million dollars, making it one of the most costly videos ever. Later, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame included the track in its collection, “Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.”
2. “Fu-Gee La”
The lead single from The Score, this song was released in December of 1995. It includes a sample of “If Loving You Is Wrong (I Don’t Want to Be Right)” by Ramsey Lewis, as well as an interpolation of “Ooo La La La” by Teena Marie. The track hit No. 29 on the Billboard Hot 100. Later, Jay Z sampled the song for his track “Moonlight” on his record, 4:44.
3. “How Many Mics”
The second track (and first real song) from the 1996 album, The Score, this song set the mood for the album. On it, Hill spits, How many mic’s do we rip on the daily. This set the tone for the biting, beautiful, collaborative LP.
4. “Killing Me Softly With His Song”
The song was originally composed by Charles Fox and the lyrics were written by Norman Gimbel. It was first sung by Lori Lieberman and released in 1972. Nearly 25 years later, the Fugees covered it, with Hill singing lead. The song hit No. 1 on the U.S. Top 40 and in the United Kingdom, it was the best-selling single of 1996. Later, the trio’s version won the 1997 Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.
From the trio’s debut album, Blunted on Reality, “Vocab” was produced by Pras and Wyclef, featuring a prominent acoustic guitar. The song hit No. 22 on the Billboard rap charts in 1995. Later, a “Vocab” remix also became popular, which you can check out HERE.
6. “Nappy Heads”
From Blunted on Reality, “Nappy Heads” was originally produced by Pras and Wyclef. It was written by Hill. Recorded in New Jersey, the song earned even more fame after the “Nappy Heads Remix” was produced by Salaam Remi. In the end, the track became the group’s first appearance on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 49. It also hit No. 1 on the Billboard dance chart.
7. “The Score”
The ninth song from the album of the same name, “The Score” featured artist Diamond D. It was written by all there members of the trio, along with artist Joseph Kirkland.
8. “Take It Easy”
This song appeared on iPods in the early 2000s when the band made the first of their short-lived reunions. Released in 2005, the song first aired as part of the trio’s appearance on the 2005 BET Music Awards on June 28. A new album is said to be in the works and “Take It Easy” was to be the lead single, leaked later online. It hit No. 40 on the Billboard R&B Chart and, sadly, did not portend a new studio LP.
9. “Rumble in the Jungle”
Recorded for the 1996 documentary, When We Were Kings, all about famed boxers Muhammad Ali and George Forman, “Rumble in the Jungle” was written and recorded by the Fugees and includes an appearance by A Tribe Called Quest, Busta Rhymes, and John Forte. It was released in January of 1997, the first single from the doc’s soundtrack. It later hit No. 71 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart.
10. “No Woman, No Cry”
A cover of the Bob Marley song of the same name, which was originally released in 1975, “No Woman, No Cry” by the Fugees was released in 1996 on The Score. The rap trio’s version includes a few lyric changes. The Fugees’ rendition hit No. 2 in the U.K. and hit the top 40 in 13 other countries. It didn’t chart in the U.S. because it was never officially released as a single. But it did hit No. 38 on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart because DJs just couldn’t get enough.
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