The Score (Fugees album)

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The Score
Studio album by Fugees
Released February 13, 1996 (1996-02-13)
Recorded June–November 1995
Genre Alternative hip hop[1]
Length 73:32
Label Ruffhouse, Columbia
Producer Fugees, Jerry Duplessis, Salaam Remi, John Forté, Diamond D, Shawn King
Fugees chronology
Blunted on Reality
(1994)
The Score
(1996)
Singles from The Score
  1. "Fu-Gee-La"
    Released: January 9, 1996
  2. "Killing Me Softly"
    Released: May 31, 1996
  3. "Ready or Not"
    Released: September 2, 1996
  4. "No Woman, No Cry"
    Released: December 5, 1996

The Score is the second and final studio album by the hip hop trio Fugees, released worldwide February 13, 1996 on Columbia Records. The album features a wide range of samples and instrumentation, with many aspects of alternative hip hop that would come to dominate the hip hop music scene in the mid-late 1990s. The Score's production was handled mostly by the Fugees themselves and Jerry Duplessis, with additional production from Salaam Remi, John Forté, Diamond D, and Shawn King. The album's guest raps are from Outsidaz' members Rah Digga, Young Zee and Pacewon, as well as Omega, John Forté, and Diamond D. Most versions of the album feature four bonus tracks, including three remixes of "Fu-Gee-La", and a short acoustic Wyclef Jean solo track entitled "Mista Mista."

Upon its release, The Score was a commercial success, peaking at the number one spot on both the Billboard 200, and the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart (it was a number-one album on the latter in 1996 on the year-end chart). The singles "Killing Me Softly," "Fu-Gee-La," and "Ready or Not" also achieved notable chart success, and helped the group achieve worldwide recognition. On October 3, 1997, The Score was certified six times platinum in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). In addition to receiving mostly favorable reviews upon its release, the album has garnered a considerable amount of acclaim over the years, with many music critics and publications noting it as one of the greatest albums of the 1990s, as well as one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time. In 1998, the album was included in The Source's 100 best rap albums list, and in 2003, it was ranked number 477 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Background[edit]

Although the Fugees' previous album Blunted on Reality proved to be critically and commercially unsuccessful, Christ Schwartz, head of Ruffhouse Records, decided to give the group another chance. In early 1995, he gave them a $135,000 advance and granted them complete artistic control for a follow-up album.[2] The group used the money for recording equipment and set up a studio in Wyclef's uncle's basement, which they referred to as Booga Basement.[3]

Recording for the album began in June 1995, and extended into November[4] at what Wyclef described as a "relaxed pace" by stating "It was done calmly, almost unconsciously. There wasn't any pressure - it was like "let's make some music," and it just started forming into something amazing. It sounded like a feel-good hip hop record to us, and it was different than what anyone was doing at the time. It was three kids from an urban background expressing themselves."[5]

In regards to The Score's unified themes and production, Lauryn commented "It's an audio film. It's like how radio was back in the 1940s. It tells a story, and there are cuts and breaks in the music. It's almost like a hip hop version of Tommy, like what The Who did for rock music."[6]

Music[edit]

The Score was produced by a variety of producers including each member of the Fugees as well as Diamond D, Salaam Remi and Jerry Duplessis. Although most tracks are built on sampled melodies, live instrumentation and DJing are incorporated into multiple tracks. Wyclef Jean plays the guitar on "Family Business," while DJ Scribble scratches on "Manifest/Outro." Nevertheless, samples are the predominant production tool on The Score. "Fu-Gee-La" incorporates a sample of Teena Marie's "Ooh La La La," and is interpolated in the song's chorus. "Ready or Not" also contains a sample that is interpolated; "Ready or Not (Here I Come)" by The Delfonics. "Manifest/Outro" contains a sample from "Rock Dis Funky Joint" by Poor Righteous Teachers, while the title track contains vocal samples from every track on the entire album.

Three official singles were released in promotion of The Score. The first of which was "Fu-Gee-La." The single was released January 9, 1996 and peaked at number 29 on the Billboard Hot 100, number 13 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, and number 2 on the Hot Rap Songs chart.[7] The song was produced by Salaam Remi and includes elements of "Ooo La La La" as performed by Teena Marie.

The Fugees' "Killing Me Softly" from The Score

Problems playing this file? See media help.

The second single, "Killing Me Softly" was released May 31, 1996. Proving to be the most successful single from the album, it instantly reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as number one on the UK Singles Chart.[7] Initially, the song was to be titled "Killing Them Softly," though alluding to Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel's "Killing Me Softly with His Song," it was originally not intended to be a cover, however, the original writers refused permission for the rewrite of their song, but did allow the Fugees to do a cover version.[8] In 1997, "Killing Me Softly" won the Fugees a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by Duo or group.[9]

The third and final single released for the album was "Ready or Not," released September 2, 1996. The song was the least successful of all the singles from the album, only peaking at number 34 on the Rhythmic Top 40 chart.[7] The track interpolates "Ready or Not, Here I Come (Can't Hide from Love)" as performed by The Delfonics, and also samples Enya's "Boadicea". Initially this sample was uncredited, and Enya was prepared to sue for copyright infringement, however decided not to when she discovered that the Fugees were not gangsta rappers.[10] In a later interview, Fugee member Pras described the recording of "Ready or Not" stating "The three of us was each going through some pain. Lauryn was crying when she did her vocals. It was unbelievable. To see her singing with tears coming out of her eyes, it made me want to cry too."[4]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[11]
Robert Christgau A[1]
Entertainment Weekly A[12]
Los Angeles Times 2.5/4 stars[13]
The New York Times (favorable)[14]
Q 4/5 stars[15]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[16]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4.5/5 stars[17]
The Source 5/5 stars[18]
Spin 9/10[19]

Upon its release, The Score received mostly positive reviews from most music critics. Entertainment Weekly writer James Bernard commented "What a shock: a smooth, well-produced rap album that doesn't have Dr. Dre's fingerprints on it [...] The Score showcases their acrobatic lyrical techniques and restless intelligence, and unlike much East Coast rap, The Score feels warm and intimate — partly because the instruments are live but also because the Fugees sound so relaxed and casual."[12] Robert Christgau from The Village Voice stated "Forget their debut [...] this isn't another terrible thing to waste. It's so beautiful and funny its courage could make you weep."[1] Steve Huey from Allmusic wrote that "Even when they're not relying on easily recognizable tunes, their original material is powered by a raft of indelible hooks [...] The Score balances intelligence and accessibility with an easy assurance, and ranks as one of the most distinctive hip-hop albums of its era."[11]

He and others also touted it for its eclecticism, group rapping with good chemistry and social consciousness. Cheo Hodari Coker from Los Angeles Times wrote that "The Score succeeds on all counts. As a cohesive unit, Hill, Wyclef Jean and Prakazrel Michel complement one another like no rap trio since A Tribe Called Quest. Their specialty is matching a gymnastic rhyme flow and rock-solid beats with expert crooning."[13] Spin commented "A sense of organic interaction is the hallmark of this album [....] the album's most important factor is its beats; chest-shaking, obscure-texture-having, freestyle-friendly beats."[19] Q described the album as "An impressively panoramic soundscape."[15] In a mixed review, Rolling Stone writer Ann Powers commented "The Fugees' roots in reggae gives them a solid base in song and a basic philosophy that's richer than the money-or-nothing ethic that dulls much of rap these days. Without being sanctimonious, The Score paints the ghetto as a mythical landscape, one that can inspire pride as well as sorrow. Like Wu-Tang Clan, the Fugees view the world as their movie, complete with stunts and special effects."[16]

Track listing[edit]

# Title Performer(s) Producer(s) Sample(s) / interpolation(s) Time
1 "Red Intro" —— —— 1:52
2 "How Many Mics"
  • Intro: Wyclef Jean / Lauryn Hill
  • Chorus: Wyclef Jean / Lauryn Hill
  • First verse: Lauryn Hill
  • Second verse: Wyclef Jean
  • Third verse: Pras
Fugees,
Shawn King,
Jerry Duplessis
4:29
3 "Ready or Not"
  • Chorus: Lauryn Hill
  • First verse: Wyclef Jean
  • Second verse: Lauryn Hill
  • Third verse: Pras
Fugees,
Jerry Duplessis
3:47
4 "Zealots"
  • Chorus: Wyclef Jean
  • First verse: Wyclef Jean
  • Second verse: Lauryn Hill
  • Third verse: Wyclef Jean
  • Fourth verse: Pras
Fugees,
Jerry Duplessis
4:21
5 "The Beast"
  • Chorus: Wyclef Jean
  • First verse: Lauryn Hill
  • Second verse: Wyclef Jean
  • Third verse: Wyclef Jean
  • Fourth verse: Lauryn Hill
  • Fifth verse: Wyclef Jean
  • Sixth verse: Wyclef Jean
  • Seventh verse: Pras
Fugees,
Jerry Duplessis
—— 5:37
6 "Fu-Gee-La"
  • First verse: Wyclef Jean
  • Chorus: Lauryn Hill
  • Second verse: Lauryn Hill
  • Third verse: Pras
  • Fourth verse: Wyclef Jean
Salaam Remi 4:20
7 "Family Business"
  • Backing vocals: Lauryn Hill
  • First verse: Omega
  • Second verse: Wyclef Jean
  • Third verse: Wyclef Jean
  • Fourth verse: Lauryn Hill
  • Fifth verse: Lauryn Hill
  • Sixth verse: John Forté
  • Outro: Wyclef Jean / Lauryn Hill
Fugees,
John Forté,
Jerry Duplessis
5:44
8 "Killing Me Softly"
  • Intro: Wyclef Jean / Lauryn Hill
  • Verses, chorus: Lauryn Hill
Fugees,
Jerry Duplessis
4:59
9 "The Score"
  • First verse: Wyclef Jean
  • Second verse: Wyclef Jean
  • Third verse: Pras
  • Fourth verse: Lauryn Hill
  • Fifth verse: Diamond D
Diamond D,
Fugees,
Jerry Duplessis
5:02
10 "The Mask"
  • Chorus: Fugees
  • First verse: Wyclef Jean
  • Second verse: Lauryn Hill
  • Third verse: Pras
Fugees,
Jerry Duplessis
4:51
11 "Cowboys"
  • Chorus: Wyclef Jean
  • First verse: Pacewon / Wyclef Jean
  • Second verse: Lauryn Hill / Rah Digga
  • Third verse: Pras / Young Zee
  • Fourth verse: John Forté
Fugees,
John Forté,
Jerry Duplessis
5:24
12 "No Woman, No Cry"
  • Wyclef Jean
Fugees,
Jerry Duplessis
4:33
13 "Manifest/Outro"
  • First verse: Wyclef Jean
  • Second verse: Lauryn Hill
  • Third verse: Pras
  • Outro: DJ Red Alert
Fugees,
Jerry Duplessis
6:00

Bonus tracks[edit]

Bonus tracks featured on CD, and several international versions.

# Title Performer(s) Producer(s) Time
14 "Fu-Gee-La" (Refugee Camp Remix)
  • First verse: Wyclef Jean
  • Chorus: Wyclef Jean
  • Second verse: John Forté
  • Third verse: Lauryn Hill
  • Fourth verse: Pras
  • Fifth verse: Wyclef
  • Outro: Wyclef Jean
Fugees,
Jerry Duplessis
4:24
15 "Fu-Gee-La" (Sly & Robbie Mix)
  • Intro: Sly & Robbie
  • First verse: Wyclef Jean
  • Chorus: Lauryn Hill
  • Second verse: John Forté
  • Third verse: Lauryn Hill
  • Fourth verse: Pras
  • Fifth verse: Wyclef Jean
  • Outro: Akon
Handel Tucker 5:28
16 "Mista Mista"
  • Wyclef Jean
Wyclef Jean 2:42
17 "Fu-Gee-La" (Refugee Camp Global Mix)
  • First verse: Wyclef Jean
  • Chorus: Lauryn Hill
  • Second verse: Lauryn Hill/ Wyclef Jean
  • Third verse: Pras
  • Fourth verse: Wyclef Jean
Fugees 4:20

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Preceded by
Fairweather Johnson by Hootie & the Blowfish
Billboard 200 number-one album
May 25 - June 21, 1996
Succeeded by
Load by Metallica

Awards[edit]

The Score earned the Fugees two Grammy Awards in 1996.[9]

Nomination Award Result
Killing Me Softly Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals Won
The Score Best Rap Album Won

Accolades[edit]

  • Information regarding accolades is extracted from Acclaimedmusic.net,[44]except for accolades with additional sources.
  • (*) Signifies unordered lists
Publication Country Accolade Year Rank
About.com United States 100 Greatest Hip-Hop Albums[45] 2008 18
Best Rap Albums of 1996[46] 2008 5
BigO Singapore Albums of the Year 1996 34
Blender United States 500 CDs You Must Own Before You Die 2003 *
Ego Trip Hip Hop's 25 Greatest Albums by Year 1980-98 1999 5
Elvis Costello United Kingdom 500 Albums You Need 2000 *
Expressen Sweden The 100 Best Records Ever 1999 100
Eye Weekly Canada Albums of the Year 1996 15
Face United kingdom Albums of the Year 1996 1
Helsingin Sanomat Finland 50th Anniversary of Rock 2004 *
Hip-Hop Connection United Kingdom The 100 Greatest Rap Albums 1995-2005 2005 15
Juice Australia The 100 (+34) Greatest Albums of the 90s 1999 64
Mixmag United kingdom Albums of the Year 1996 2
Mojo Albums of the Year 1996 15
The Mojo Collection (3rd and/or 4th Edition) 03/07 *
Muzik Albums of the Year 1996 3
The New Nation Top 100 Albums by Black Artists 2005 34
NME United States 1996 Crits Poll 1996 22
United Kingdom Albums of the Year 1996 22
Nude as the News United States The 100 Most Compelling Albums of the 90s 1999 97
OOR Netherlands Albums of the Year 1996 38
Pause & Play United States The 90s Top 100 Essential Albums 1999 11
Plásticos y Decibelios Spain The 80 Best Albums of All Time 2000 68
Pop Sweden Albums of the Year 1996 1
Pure Pop Mexico Albums of the Year 1996 10
Q United Kingdom Albums of the Year 1996 *
90 best Albums of the 90s 1999 *
Record Collector 10 Classic Albums from 21 Genres for the 21st Century 2000 *
Robert Dimery United States 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die 2005 *
Rock Sound France Albums of the Year 1996 24
Rolling Stone United States Albums of the Year 1996 10
The Essential Recordings of the 90s 1999 *
The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time 2003 477
100 Best Albums of the Nineties[47] 2011 44
The Source 100 Best Rap Albums[48] 1998 *
The Critics Top 100 Black Music Albums of All Time[49] 2006 34
Spex Germany Albums of the Year 1996 41
Spin United States 20 Best Albums of '96 1996 2
Top 90 Albums of the 90s 1999 17
Tom Moon 1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die[50] 2008 *
Various Writers Albums: 50 Years of Great Recordings 2005 *
Vibe 100 Essential Albums of the 20th Century 1999 *
The Village Voice Albums of the Year 1996 2
Vox United Kingdom Albums of the Year 1996 15
VPRO Netherlands 299 Nominations of the Best Album of All Time 2006 *
Yediot Ahonot Israel Top 99 Albums of All Time 1999 74

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Christgau, Robert (April 9, 1996). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved January 4, 2012. 
  2. ^ Coleman, Brian. 2008. P.213-214
  3. ^ Coleman, Brian. 2008. P.214
  4. ^ a b Furman; Leah, Elina. 1999. P.86
  5. ^ Coleman, Brian. 2008. P.215
  6. ^ Furman; Leah, Elina. 1999. P.78
  7. ^ a b c The Score Singles Billboard Peak Positions. Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-04-16.
  8. ^ Nickson, Chris, 1999. P.74-75
  9. ^ a b The Score Grammy Awards. Allmusic. Retrieved April 16, 2010.
  10. ^ "Irish Voice article at archive.org". February 18, 1997. Archived from the original on April 7, 2005. Retrieved March 26, 2007. 
  11. ^ a b Huey, Steve. Review: The Score. Allmusic. Retrieved on September 21, 2009.
  12. ^ a b Bernard, James. Review: The Score. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on September 21, 2009.
  13. ^ a b Coker, Cheo-Hodari. Review: The Score. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on 2009-09-21.
  14. ^ Pareles, John. Review: The Score. The New York Times. Retrieved on September 21, 2009.
  15. ^ a b Columnist. Review: The Score. Q: 109. April 1996.
  16. ^ a b Powers, Ann. Review: The Score. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on April 14, 2010.
  17. ^ Christian, Hoard. Ranking: The Score. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on September 21, 2009.
  18. ^ Columnist. Ranking: The Score. The Source. Retrieved on September 21, 2009.
  19. ^ a b Columnist. Review: The Score. Spin: 113. March 1996.
  20. ^ "Fugees – The Score". Australiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  21. ^ "Fugees - The Score" (In German). Austriancharts.at. Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  22. ^ "Fugees – The Score" (In Dutch). Ultratop.be. Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  23. ^ "Fugees – The Score" (In French). Ultratop.be. Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  24. ^ "Fugees: The Score" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  25. ^ "Fugees – The Score". Lescharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  26. ^ "Top 100 Longplay". Charts.de. Media Control. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  27. ^ "Fugees – The Score". Dutchcharts.nl. Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  28. ^ "Fugees – The Score". Charts.org.nz. Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  29. ^ "Fugees – The Score". Norwegiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  30. ^ "Fugees – The Score". Swedishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  31. ^ "Fugees – The Score". Swisscharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  32. ^ "Fugees | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  33. ^ "Fugees Album & Song Chart History" Billboard 200 for Fugees. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  34. ^ "Fugees Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums for Fugees. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  35. ^ Geoff Mayfield (December 25, 1998). 1999 The Year in Music Totally '90s: Diary of a Decade - The listing of Top Pop Albums of the '90s & Hot 100 Singles of the '90s. Billboard. Retrieved October 15, 2010. 
  36. ^ "Austrian album certifications – Fugees – The Score" (in German). IFPI Austria.  Enter Fugees in the field Interpret. Enter The Score in the field Titel. Select album in the field Format. Click Suchen
  37. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Fugees – The Score". Music Canada. 
  38. ^ "French album certifications – Fugees – The Score" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. 
  39. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Fugees; 'The Score')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  40. ^ "Polish album certifications – Fugees – The Score" (in Polish). Polish Producers of Audio and Video (ZPAV). 
  41. ^ "British album certifications – Fugees – The Score". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter The Score in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
  42. ^ "American album certifications – Fugees – The Score". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  43. ^ "IFPI Platinum Europe Awards – 1998". International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. 
  44. ^ The Score album accolades. acclaimedmusic.net. Retrieved 2010-04-16.
  45. ^ Adaso, Henry. About.com's 100 Greatest Rap Albums. About.com. Retrieved 2010-04-16.
  46. ^ Adaso, Henry. About.com's Best Rap Albums of 1996. About.com. Retrieved 2010-04-16.
  47. ^ 100 Best Albums of the Nineties. Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
  48. ^ Columnist. The Sources 100 Best Rap Albums. The Source. Retrieved 2010-04-16.
  49. ^ Columnist. The Critics Top 100 Black Music Albums of All Time. The Source. Retrieved 2010-04-16.
  50. ^ Moon, Tom. 1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die. Tom Moon. Retrieved 2010-04-16.

References[edit]

External links[edit]