Saturday, March 26, 2011
Fugees - The Score (1996)
I should be giving close listens to the Vaccines, Strokes and a couple other new releases to write up reviews for, however I've been self-diagnosed with a little '90s hip-hop fever this week. Digging through my music collection, re-listening to albums that I'd neglected for awhile, such as Common's Resurrection, Nas' Illmatic, De La Soul's 3 Feet and Rising (an '80s set, but whatever) and of course the obligatory landmarks, 2Pac's All Eyez on Me, BIG's Ready to Die and Jay-Z Reasonable Doubt.
But what record have I been listening to most? The Fugees second and final album The Score, home of signature numbers "Killing Me Softly" and "Ready or Not" and top 40 hits "Fu-Gee-La" and "No Woman, No Cry." Being a '90s baby, my fascination with this album worked in reverse--Indulging in the bewitching poetic hip-hop/R&B of Lauryn Hill's Miseducation before exploring its origins, which I guess originates from here, The Score. From the laid-back delivery, the smooth conscience beats and intelligent lyrical affirmations, the album works on a lot of levels, particularly it's embedded skits highlighting its dramatic cinematic feel.
Yes, it's main highlight's are the singles and the tracks with Hill singing the hooks. But surprisingly, listening to this again and being a little more open minded, the dark, downbeat, chilling rap of opening track "How Many Mics" sounds a lot more appealing than it did before. Currently, my most played song of the week--according to Last.Fm and even more surprisingly, Hill and Wyclef Jean verses are not the highlights, but arguably the lessor known of the trio, Pras Michel's closing verse, showcasing flow that would make the Atlantic jealous. Also, it's funny listening to this now and hearing Jean say: "never tango with Haitian-Sicilians," considering he got shot in the hand by a Haitian recently. Check the song below: