There’s a lot of reminiscing of the Internet right now about the 1996 Fugees album The Score. It’s the 25th Anniversary and the Internet loves nothing more than an anniversary.
And yes in its moment The Score was certainly a cultural phenomenon. The Fugees were EVERYWHERE in 1996. “Killing Me Softly” was played on virtually every station up and down the radio dial from the hardcore Hip Hop stations to the Adult Contemporary easy listening blocks. That song was truly inescapable.
But here’s the rub. “Killing Me Softly” is a cover song and the rest of The Score is pretty much hot garbage. “Fu-Gee-La” is the best song on the album and it’s probably the 55th best Hip Hop song of 1996. No joke I could easily name 54 other Hip Hop songs of that year that crush “Fu-Gee-La”. “Ready or Not” is merely okay and “No Woman No Cry” is another cover song. The rest of the album is filler. And that combination sold 22 million copies.
The Miseducation of Lauren Hill is a truly classic album. The Score is not. The reason – all Lauren Hill vs Some Lauren Hill and some other people.
Wyclef is a mediocre rapper. Pras is a terrible rapper. Wyclef was hailed throughout 1996 as some sort of musical savant when in reality he can kinda play guitar and most just picked a couple of great songs by other artists to cover. The music on The Score does NOT hold up. It’s so so so very mid 90s Hip Hop in all the worst ways.
You know what album from 1996 deserves all this 25 year Anniversary talk that NO ONE mentions:
Lost Boyz Legal Drug Money. That album has BANGERZ:
Now that is some real 1996 Hip Hop right there. Those two videos ARE 1996.
So toss your copy of The Score into the trash bin where it belongs and break out a true Hip Hop classic. RIPIP Freaky Tah.