In 1996, the Fugees were little more than a trio of rappers with a couple of minor hits, "Nappy Heads" and "Vocab," to their name. However, that all changed rather drastically when Pras, Lauryn Hill and Wyclef Jean, dropped their sophomore set, The Score, on the masses. The unexpected smash hit took the world by storm, marrying hip-hop, R&B, rap and reggae effortlessly and especially showcased the talents of Wyclef and Lauryn.
We were introduced to the score via the Teena Marie interpolating single "Fu-Gee-La," back in December of 1995. The single, which featured Lauryn singing a honeyed-hook over a reggae-inspired beat while she, Clef and Pras spit tales of street life so vivid that they could've been a movie. It resonated with fans, becoming the Fugees' highest charting and best-selling single, peaking at No. 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 and achieving gold certification from the RIAA. Subsequent singles "Killing Me Softly," "Ready Or Not" and "No Woman, No Cry," while radio hits, surprisingly didn't rival its success. Despite that, The Score itself was a massive hit. It topped the charts not only in the United States but in several other countries, including the U.K., Belgium, Canada and Australia and eventually going six times platinum in the U.S. alone.
Sadly, such success couldn't sustain the group. Both Wyclef and Lauryn embarked on their inevitable solo careers, both striking it big on their debut albums, The Carnival and The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill, respectively. Tensions within the group, primarily between Lauryn and Clef, would keep the crew from coming together for a follow-up and other than a few singles for soundtracks, no other Fugees material would surface until 2005, when the threesome performed at a few big events, namely Dave Chappelle's Block Party and an appearance at that year's BET Awards. For now, the dream of a full-on Fugees reunion and third album remain just that: a dream. In other words, you're better off playing The Score for the millionth time and reminiscing about way back when.