Sunday, February 14, 2021

Revisiting The Score


The Ringer – "In ‘The Score,’ the Fugees Made Refugees the Heroes of an Epic Tale"

"One notable thing about that track and the rest of their seminal second LP, The Score, was that it sounded old. Really old. I was long used to listening to artists who invoked the spirit of previous eras, such as Jay-Z and the Wu-Tang Clan, but the utterly haunting chords and drums on The Score sounded like they had been recorded at the dawn of time. This album sounded Old Testament old, as if it could have been the soundtrack for the Jews when they left Egypt, led by Moses and pursued by a vengeful Pharaoh."

"It is poignant to remember that, even at the height of the supposed Cold War between the East Coast and the West Coast, rappers from both of those areas hung out with each other—Pras, a friend of Tupac’s, was in touch with him shortly before the rapper was murdered. That the Fugees managed to fight their way through that toxic fog, and to show the world that their style of hip-hop was commercially viable—it sold 22 million copies worldwide—is an understated part of their legacy." 

"By several accounts, their personalities were destined to be in perfect balance for only the briefest time. Yet what personalities they were: Wyclef, the dreamer; Lauryn, the warrior; Pras, the guardian. And what skills they had; their lyrics blessed with the deceptive simplicity of Aesop’s Fables, and Lauryn’s flow so elegant that it was seemingly engineered by Mercedes-Benz. Hill’s masterful singing sent the Fugees into the stratosphere, allowing her group to soar beyond the reaches of rival rap crews who could not hit the same notes as she could. Decades before the ubiquity of the MC who could also croon, she could channel the greatness of Nina Simone and Rakim in the same set."

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