Stories Fu-Gee-La: The Rise & Fall Of The Fugees


Fu-Gee-La: The Rise & Fall Of The Fugees

Credit for photo: Paul Natkin/WireImage

There’s a saying “all good things must come to an end.” Although, we would like to enjoy the things we have created forever, almost everything must go at some point. Greatness turns to dust, empires crumble, such things are the way of life. Music is no different. Artists have their prime, their era, though their sound lives on, the very individuals whither away. An example of such a group are the legendary Fugees crew. Many associate the group with merely Pras, Lauryn Hill and Wyclef but so much history resides within their time as a group. Here, I will tell their story. The beginning, the rise, the fall and all the details in between.

It was 1989, an average day in South Orange, New Jersey at Columbia High School. A slim, well dressed individual wearing a pinky ring by the name of Praskazrel Michel(Pras) approached a small, sweet, freshman by the name of Lauryn Hill. In search of a vocalist for a group he was starting, Pras asked Lauryn to join. “You know Lauryn, I got this group you know, and I heard you can sing, and I know your brother, so I think you can join my group” Hill describing their first encounter. Lauryn being infatuated with music at the time was more than willing to join the group, claiming she was just excited to be making music. Soon after they would be accompanied by another female vocalist by the name of Marcy, the group would be called “Tyme”.

After about a month of recording, Pras believed he needed a reggae influence for part of a track they were working on. Luckily, he had a man for the job. Pras called upon a friend by the name of Jeanelle Jean, or better known as Wyclef. The two had been friends, as Pras had been a regular member of Wyclef’s father’s church ministry, mostly due to their common Haitian heritage. The two had also played in the church band which enlightened him to Wyclef’s musical ability.

Pras called upon Wyclef one afternoon, convincing him to record the section he needed “I’m here with two girls…we’re doing a track. I need you to come sing some of that reggae stuff you’re so good at.” Willing to help his friend out, Wyclef made his way over to the studio, little did he know he’d be in the studio of Khalis Bayyan, you may know him better as Ronald Bell, a founding member of one of the best selling musical groups in history, “Kool & The Gang”. Some how, Pras had sweet talked his way into earning the ear of Bayyan, allowing him personal access to his studio.

Members of Kool & The Gang: (from left)Dennis Thomas George Brown, Robert "Kool" Bell and Khalis Bayyan

Members of Kool & The Gang: (from left)Dennis Thomas, George Brown, Robert “Kool” Bell and Khalis Bayyan

Lauryn Hill describes her first time seeing Wyclef “I’ll never forget the first day. He walked into the studio and had an entire Batman uniform and this was when the Batman movie first came out, Batman buttons and hats and buckles on his boots, so he was just very dramatic…” Wyclef on the other hand had a different first impression as he took a glance inside the studio and laid his eyes on both female members. But, once he fixated his eyes solely on Lauryn, he couldn’t believe his eyes, he was filled with lust and sexual desire. He immediately turned to Pras “Damn, she’s beautiful” referring to Lauryn. Knowing his good friend, Pras squashed any chance of romantics with her “…I know you man. I’m friends with her brother; you can’t go there.” Heeding his friends warning, he stirred clear of Hill, focusing his attention rather on Marcy. Unfortunately, for Pras this wouldn’t stop Wyclef from trying to woo the pair, as he began showing off in the studio, singing, rapping and playing every instrument in sight. That day in the studio they would record a handful of songs, but several years later the group would agree that day was their worst piece of recorded material in their time together.

Khalis, who was present in the studio, praised the group “There is some form of magic going on here…i’m serious. There is something interesting going on here. You should all stay together and keep working.” They all looked at one another, and it was at that moment that they truly believed they could become something special. From that day forward the group would practice rigorously, roughly 3 nights a week, for about 6 hours a session. They were very flamboyant, Pras would rap, Lauryn and Marcy sang the hooks, and Clef would often go about doing his own carribean/reggae/rap style. Keeping this all in order was difficult but they had the guidance of Khalis to keep them in order.

It was around this time that the group ditched their old name and figured out their new one, the “Fugees” which was short for refugees. Pras described the reason for choosing this name in an interview “Every single living thing is a refugee, cause you seeking refugee from whatever and whenever, so we represent especially the people from our blocks, cause we all a refugee so we represent all of that element and whatever comes to play.”

With their group and name now intact they realized they were missing an element. Lauryn Hill, who would routinely sing soulful hooks, often wrote down poetry, but was reluctant to share it with others. Pressured by her band mates, she revealed her work to them. After hearing her recite her poetry, they demanded that she start rapping, which she did, under Pras and Wyclef’s supervision. At first, her rhymes were terrible according to Hill’s own statements, but Wyclef praised her stating “she was a natural” and soon she caught on to the rhythms of rap music.

About two years after their initial meeting, Marcy would drop out of the group due to pressure from her parents, who wanted her to pursue Broadway instead. The loss was a big blow to the group, as Wyclef described her as “the most gifted vocalist out of all of them.”

The end of the Marcy era, opened up another one for the Fugees, the romantics between Hill and Jean started to blossom. The relationship changed with them one day during a conversation over music.

“You know, you kinda attractive, you know, you a pretty smart girl.” Wyclef said

“Stop it, my brother,” Hill responded.

“Nah, nah, i’m serious. You a hottie.”

Wyclef claimed since that moment, the two took a different tone when around one another.

Soon after that, Lauryn Hill was casted for a part in Whoopi Goldberg’s “Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit” in LA. Lauryn at the time had multiple gigs going on outside music, and she was pursuing acting on a full time basis. The distance between her and the other group members, actually brought about a closer relationship between her and Wyclef. They would call each other every night while she was away, with conversations lasting hours some nights.

Lauryn Hill in her first film Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit

Lauryn Hill in her first film, Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit

Her return from LA earned her more acting jobs, including a spot in the hip-hop play “Club XII” with other celebrities such as MC Lyte and Lisa Carson. Wyclef would also earn a spot in the play, writing a lot of the music. The play would be a success, earning Wyclef praise from Quincy Jones who was the producer “I’ve been watching you this whole time young blood. I will see you again, because you’ve got what it takes.” They knew that if they wanted to make it somewhere in the performing arts, they couldn’t be just rappers but complete artists.

All the hard work would pay off, after all their years of work, as they finally earned a developmental deal with Le Jam, Bayyan’s production company. What would be next for the group would be to hire some management for the group. The only problem was that no one wanted to represent the Fugees due to their robust style. They would hit you with soulful hooks, rap, rock and reggae all in one go, managers didn’t know what they were looking at. Luckily, one of the last people to interview the group was David Sonenberg. Sonenberg had an open ear and after hearing their performance declared “I don’t know what you kids are going to be, but you’re going to be something.” They officially had a manager, and he put them to work quickly. He had a meeting scheduled for them with Chris Scwartz and Joe Nicolo from Ruffhouse Records(a sub-label of Columbia). They signed such artists as Cypress Hill and the young duo of Kriss Kross. They performed for the label heads and earned their respect, and their first major label record deal. They were officially professional artists.

With the new record deal they went straight to work on their first studio album Blunted On Reality. The title was chosen due to an interview they had heard from the television show Lorna’s Corner. “when the cop is messing around with somebody for something that the person didn’t do and they try to set ‘em up, that makes me blunted on reality. When the government is taking money on arms…and that money could be going back to the community it makes me blunted on reality. It’s just awareness of what’s going on…that’s what blunted on reality means…It don’t mean that I smoke weed…cause I’m too paranoid as it is.”

Fugees during the recording of their first LP "Blunted On Reality"

Fugees during the recording of their first LP “Blunted On Reality”

It can be said that it was around this time they titled themselves “The Tranzlator Crew” as well, due to their desire to rap and make music in multiple languages, but the name wouldn’t stick for long as they ditched it soon after the release of Blunted.

As they worked harder to release their first LP, Wyclef grew closer to Lauryn emotionally “I fell in love not only with her, but also with the art, and everything we were doing, because it was all tied up together.” Their relationship would grow significantly from this point on, and would spark great artistic creation for their future projects.

Each member dedicated an individual track to display their talents for their album. Lauryn Hill had “Some Seek Stardom”, Pras “Giggles” and Wyclef had “Living Like There Ain’t No Tomorrow”. Though their biggest hit off the album would be constructed in 1994 “Boof Baf”, a highly energized, reggae/rap mix that increased their artistic credibility significantly in the hip-hop community. The track earned them spots for shows across the States and Europe, and with the funds they received from Columbia, things were progressing nicely.

As they toured, their popularity as live performers grew so much that they began to outperform the more popular acts. They brought with them a bass player, keyboardist, DJ, and a drummer. Where they couldn’t dominate on the radio, they made sure to bring it all on stage. When it came to live shows they were the masters. They grew so notorious for their on stage acts that rapper Biggie Smalls demanded that he play before them, stating they would steal the show if he allowed them to perform first.

Still hungry for more, Wyclef discussed with his Fugees members that something was missing that would take their image to the next level. Not knowing what it was, they decided to not overthink it, claiming Wyclef was just going crazy, they were already the hottest opening act around.

One afternoon, Wyclef was taking a nap when he awake to a commercial playing on the television. It was an old Bud Light ad with their former mascot ‘Spuds Mackenzie’ the dog. Dressed in his outrageous attire, Wyclef thought “what was so special about this dog?” He was completely irrelevant to beer, yet everyone loved him, and therefore loved Bud Light. And then all of a sudden it hit him “That is what we need, man! We need a Spuds Mackenzie” he shouted out loud.

He understood that he literally did not need Spuds Mackenzie, or even a dog at that. He merely needed a mascot to represent the Fugees brand just like Spuds did for Bud Light. There next show was scheduled at a big club in Manhattan, and it was for Jodeci, one of the most popular groups around at the time. Wyclef saw this as the perfect opportunity to capture the world’s attention. How well this idea would go down…that’s up for debate.

Wyclef got into his busted up blue Honda and drove himself to the nearest livestock store, which was located in the heart of Newark. The store was very sketchy looking, or as Clef put it “was operating outside of the health codes, put it that way.” Nonetheless, he knew what he wanted as he approached the owner demanding that he be sold a cow. In his head he was picturing something from his Haiti days, where families would be sold baby cows. When the owner took him to the back to pick out which one he desired, he found that all the cows were fully grown. “Yo, man, these cows are enormous…Don’t you have no baby cows?” Out of what he desired, he had to switch up his thought process and think of something else to be the face of the Fugees. The owner suggested he had something perfect for the show and led Wyclef to another room, where the man pointed to a goat. Wyclef described it as the craziest looking goat he had ever seen “it was white and shaggy with a long curled horn sticking straight up on each side of its head. It had red eyes and it looked stoned and pissed off.” Unimpressed, the owner pushed the goat onto him “This is a rare Mexican goat.” Eventually the two sides settled on the goat, and this became the unofficial newest member of the Fugees.

Once Wyclef had loaded the goat into his car, he noticed the atrocious odor reeking from the animal. He described the smell as “a pile of wet straw, dirt and the shit pond back in Haiti all put together.” The stench was so overpowering that he claims that he can still smell that goat till this day. He brought the goat back to his Aunt’s place where he was staying at the time. When he arrived, his friends surrounded him, and were equally appalled by the smell resonating from the goat. They helped move it into the basement, soon after his aunt caught a whiff of the goat through the ventilation, quickly they hid the goat in the garage before his aunt could spot it, but she still expressed her concern over the stench, but soon left.

On his way to the show, Wyclef was awaiting a friend to pick him and his goat up from his home. When he arrived Wyclef fought tooth and nail and finally got him to allow the goat into the car, they were off to Manhattan. When they arrived they faced more resistance for the goat’s entry into the club, but eventually they talked their way inside.

Finally, the show was about to begin and the Fugees were ready to tear up the stage with their newly acquired prop. Then an emcee by the name of “Big Cat” introduced them to the stage:

“Ayo, before we bring Jodeci out, we got this little group for you. All the way from New Jersey, it’s the Fudgies!”

A blatant error on their group name had Wyclef’s blood boiling “The motherfucking Fudgies, man. He pronounced it like we were the topping on an ice-cream sundae.” But they did not let it rattle their mindset too much, because they were certain after tonight, no one would ever forget the Fugees.

One by one they entered the stage. First it was Pras who got the crowd going, then Lauryn Hill followed suit. Wyclef was next but he had trouble moving the goat onto the stage, it seemed to be stricken by fear from the loud audience. After wrestling with the goat for several seconds, he decided to just carry it onto the stage. The first set of rows were pushed back by the odor of the goat, causing disruptions in the crowd, but the Fugees kept on rolling. They dropped their single “Boof Baf” and the crowd was getting back into it, but when the DJ cranked up the speed of the song by about 20bpms, the goat started acting crazy. It began to spin around in a circle tirelessly, then  it started running around stage, defecating itself. It can be said that this was far from their best show, but they closed it out with a few more songs and were off the stage. After the show, the manager for Jodeci gave the group an ear full. Even his own group members turned on Wyclef, believing he may have cost them their big opportunity.

The show may have been a disaster but it wasn’t all bad. On the Hot 97 radio station, a DJ reported the comical incident that took place at the show. It earned their single “Boof Baf” some radio airplay for their circus like performance. Most importantly, the DJ pronounced their name right. After that moment, the Fugees really took off, opening up for acts such as Nas, Wu-Tang Clan, Onyx, and Naughty By Nature.

The main issue is that even though they were being booked for opening gigs, their album did not sound like they did on stage. Also, even though they were earning respect from their peers, the album performed poorly on a commercial scale never attaining any merits of honor from the music industry. Blunted On Reality, did not capture the Fugees essence, and the group felt that it if they could capture their on stage presence, and put it on a record they would be unstoppable.

It was time for a change, and Columbia product manager Jeff Burles was on board. Burles introduced the group to producer Salaam Remi and the they hit it off immediately. Soon after this meeting, the Fugees cut ties with Khalis Bayyan and Le Jam Records and signed a production deal with Remi. Though they were no longer under Bayyan’s supervision they were forever thankful for his guidance over the years. It was a bold move but one that needed to be made, Remi understood the modern hip-hop scene better, and grasped the general concept of what the group members wanted to do.

Their first assignment was to get a direction for the group. Anxious to test out their abilities he had each member simply freestyle. Eventually he understood what he had to do for the group’s success. “Listen, your group is so talented we gotta dumb y’all down. We gotta bring in the knuckleheads first.” He wasn’t intending to harm the sound, merely to make the language universal so everyone could understand it. After this Salaam Remi produced his first track for the trio by remixing a song from their previous LP “Nappy Heads”.

Salaam Remi in the studio

Salaam Remi in the studio

Salaam, had connections with Hot 97 DJ Funk Master Flex, which was the most popular hip-hop radio station and DJ around, and told the Fugees members he could get them some airplay with their new remix. The group agreed to give him a demo of the track, and so Remi handed it over to Flex, who agreed to play it. A couple of days had passed  and the three of them were glued to the radio. All of a sudden the group recognized the beat playing. It was their instrumental but they realized it was merely playing as background music for Flex while he talked. In confusion they did not know what to make of this, and were still slightly bummed out to not have their track played. Then, roughly 10 minutes later they heard the opening lyrics to their track and the group was ecstatic to finally get some radio play. They didn’t know what was coming next, but they didn’t care, this was the happiest moment of their lives.

The happiness was short lived though, the minor victory had made the group focused, and in 1995 the standards in hip-hop couldn’t be higher. This led them to begin the process on their sophomore record The Score. The title was targeted at the music critics who stated that Lauryn Hill should go solo and leave Pras and Wyclef behind. Also to answer criticism that the group was not up to today’s hip-hop and musical standards.

Before any recording could be done, first they took a miniature tour to Germany, where they would open up for a local group called Das EFX. Of course, they took over the shows but their journeys would continue through Europe to France, Iceland and England. When they returned home they found their song “Nappy Heads remix” still on the radio and still going strong.

When they began to focus on the thought of their next album, producer Jerry Wonda, also Wyclef’s cousin claimed the group’s goals were set high “The last album we didn’t go gold. We have to go gold. We have to create something, go gold.” They knew what they had to do, and so they switched studios and shifted all their production work to the Booga Basement, in Wyclef’s uncle’s basement.

The Booga Basement earned its name from the word “booger,” which Wyclef described as being the nastiest thing someone could have, and that’s the feel he wanted for their studio, a place where nothing but the nastiest music would be recorded. The sessions in the Booga Basement allowed for more personal time to be used, they owned the equipment, the space, and so they could go on working overnight uninterrupted. The group had a new feel with Salaam Remi, but Jerry Wonda who took minimal credit on the album also played a significant role in producing almost every track on The Score.

The sessions would last long hours, and Lauryn Hill and Wyclef would find themselves alone in the studio producing music, growing closer together. After their sessions, they would take Hill’s Jeep to Eagle Rock Mountain, a destination where couples would go to indulge in the others company, and things were getting intimate between them. The only issue with this love was that Wyclef was already married to his long time sweetheart, Claudinette. The marriage between the two would cause rifts and permanent wounds between Jean and Hill, but that’s later in the story.

Putting their relationship aside, it was time to start making some serious music, that would gain them international recognition. One day, Wyclef had been working on an Enya sample, when Lauryn popped into his room, curious to what he was doing, she asked what he was working on. He played what he had for her and she began to sing along with the beat “Ready or not, here I come, you can’t hide…i’m gonna find you, and make you love me.” Wyclef greatly impressed by what Hill was singing, encouraged her to keep singing, which she did. A few weeks later they finished the final recording for the song. During one of the takes Lauryn had cried, they kept redoing the track to get it perfect, but it was that emotional take that ended up making the cut on the album, and their first single “Ready Or Not” was born.

The Booga Basement became the home to the entire neighborhood. You’d have everyone in the community from musicians to gangsters in the studio, either recording or merely observing the group’s growth. These characters in the studio and those around it became used for their miniature interludes at the beginning and end of their tracks for the album. One group in particular who would make multiple stops, mostly to challenge the Fugees to rap battles were, “The Outsidaz”. Many would not remember them, as they never went anywhere on a mainstream scale, but they were one of the most ferocious rappers in the area. Time and time again, the Fugees would find themselves on the losing end of these battles, the Outsidaz were merely too talented with their craft, but these battles pushed Pras, Lauryn and Wyclef’s lyricism to the next level. Even with the growth they were still no match for their adversary. So, as the saying goes “if you can’t beat em, join em” and that’s what the Fugees did by collaborating on a track for the album called “Cowboys”. The combination of the two groups formed what they called the ‘Refugee All-stars’, and led to one of their grittiest songs(and one of my personal favorites).

At this point, several of the tracks had been recorded from “Zealots”, “How Many Mics”, “Family Business” and other notables. They felt something was missing. They had a lot of rap, but as overall artists they felt they needed something different on the album to give it that edge over their competition. Lauryn Hill had always been talking about doing a remake of Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly” and at this point, the rest of the group pushed her to finally record the track. Wyclef wanted to place heavy instrumentation on the song, but Pras persuaded him to think otherwise “Fuck the music. All we need is the break beat and the bass.” Based off that decision the song became the Fugees biggest hit till this day. That rounded up the album. All that remained was the feedback they’d receive from the musical community.

Ironically, it seemed that when the Fugees were reaching their peak success, internally they were crumbling. The romance with Lauryn Hill had almost destroyed Wyclef’s relationship with his wife, and even with Lauryn herself. Despite being married, Jean continued to be intimate with Hill, which caused great emotional stress on both artists. This romantic feud would ignite further issues down the road.

On a brighter note, the release of The Score had been meet with critical praise as Vibe, XXL, New York Times, and even The Source acknowledged the greatness of their sophomore record. All that was left to do was let the record sales roll in and for them to hit the road.

Tour dates were booked, and their first destination was in France. They anticipated that it would take some time for the world to digest their work, so they planned to go touring to speed along the process. During their performance, the group received great news. Prior to performing a song Wyclef announced to the audience “Hey Paris! Y’all always embraced us, so i’m happy to let you know something before anybody else in the world. This next song we gonna play for you just hit number 1 in America. I think you know the words, so let’s do this one together.” The song they were referring to was “Killing Me Softly”. Soon after that “Ready Or Not” and “Fu-Gee-La” were given proper recognition and both were billboard smash hits. After that night the tour dates kept on coming, everyone wanted a piece of the Fugees. The international success was taking its toll though, the Fugees were going from one show to the next “We were on planes, on buses, never stopping, always doing press or performing, making appearances, and being photographed” said Jean. It wasn’t all bad for them on the road. When they did their first shows in Japan, they were introduced to a traditional beverage called “sake”. Unaware of its alcoholic content, Pras drank himself silly prior to a show. He ended up falling right off the front of the stage, straight into the crowd, which actually sobered him up for the remainder of the performance. To the public eye, it seemed nothing would slow them down.

The  fatigue grew so badly that Wyclef even faked fainting during a show in order to get some much needed sleep. And if the tour schedule wasn’t killing them, the love feud between Wyclef and Lauryn Hill were taking its toll on the group. The two began to bicker and argue constantly when off stage, driving a serious rift between the two. These engagements began to infuriate Pras who saw himself as more of a babysitter than a band member.

The Fugees (from left) Wyclef Jean, Lauryn Hill and Prakazrel Michel pose with the Grammy's they won for the Best R & B Performance by a Duo or Group for "Killing Me Softly With His Song" at the 39th Grammy Awards at Madison Square Garden in New York February 30.

The Fugees (from left) Wyclef Jean, Lauryn Hill and Prakazrel Michel pose with the Grammy’s they won at the 39th Grammy Awards at Madison Square Garden in New York.

The group would feature in it’s last major hoorah on February 26, 1997 in Madison Square Garden, New York City. They were patiently awaiting for their nominations during the 39th installment of the Grammy’s. They would not leave empty handed as they won the 2nd official Rap Album of the Year award for The Score. They were not without stiff competition though, as they beat out 2pac’s All Eyez On Me, LL Cool J’s Mr.Smith, Coolio’s Gangsta’s Paradise, and A Tribe Called Quest’s Beats, Rhymes and Life. They also took home the award for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group for “Killing Me Softly”. To top it all off The Score went multi platinum, selling 17 million copies worldwide.

During a break in the schedule, Pras and Wyclef returned back to New Jersey to rest up, while Lauryn went off to Jamaica for some clarity. They would meet up in England for further touring, in which Hill had received a used acoustic guitar. Jean, knowing she did not play the guitar, was aware she must of had been given it by someone else, which infuriated him. The guitar would be from her future lover in Rohan Marley, son of musician Bob Marley. Clearly fed up with Wyclef, she began to see Rohan more regularly, but their intimate escapades would continue for now.

Near the end of their touring, Pras and Wyclef understood their new found super-stardom and decided they must give back to their native homeland of Haiti. They brought the idea to MTV to fund and broadcast the concert, which they gladly agreed. After that they secured approval from the mayor in Port-au-Prince. Next thing they knew, the pair was performing live for over five hundred thousand Haitians, was fund raise was mostly a success.

For those who watched the performance, you may not have noticed, but at the time Lauryn Hill was pregnant. Wyclef, believing the child was his, was in a state of disillusion over the matter. Until the conception of the child, he had believed she was carrying his child, and he didn’t know what to do with the matter.

Several months later when Lauryn gave birth to the child, Wyclef was waiting patiently in the hospital. He walked into her room, took a glance at the child and his heart was broken. He knew instantly that the child was not his own. He felt he had been lied to, that Lauryn intentionally misled him to believe the child was his when she knew that there was a possibility that it could have been someone else’s. The child was Rohan’s and this was the very moment that the trust between Lauryn and Wyclef, at least from his perspective, had been severed, and their intimate love for one another, finished.

The Fugees never officially broke up, they merely talked less and less about working together, and they all slowly drifted apart, heading on different paths. It was the end of a generation for one of hip-hop’s greatest groups, a matter of fact, one of musics greatest groups. Pras would go on to win a Grammy for his hit song “Ghetto Superstar”, Lauryn Hill would have another child with Rohan Marley and release her critically acclaimed album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, and Wyclef would create his freshman solo record The Carnival which went on to sell over 5 million copies.

Fugees during their 2005 reunion

Fugees during their 2005 reunion

The group would attempt a comeback in 2005, on Dave Chappelle’s Block Party, but even though the talent was there, the trust wasn’t. The group was what you would consider, officially done. Lauryn Hill stormed out of the studio, claiming she was finished with the other two members. It was clear there was still tension in the group.

Even though the Fugees haven’t gotten back together since, there is a great lesson to be learned from their story. Pras would always blame Wyclef for the destruction of the Fugees, inciting that he warned Jean that a love affair would contaminate the group’s chemistry. Though, this may be true, maybe it was an inevitable case. Wyclef would state that even though their love strained the relationship between the three, it was without a doubt the reason that they were able to make such emotional music. The love took their records and sounds to a new level. So, the love was a necessary component for the Fugees to explode the way they did. It created a bond between the two that resulted in the utmost confidence and trust. Unfortunately, this relationship caused the opposite to occur in the end, the love was never meant to last. It caused the group to break up. They knew that it could never be, yet they continued to consume the poison that would ultimately be their glory and their end.

Another lesson to be learned from this story, is that beauty breeds destruction, and destruction breeds beauty. The magic created allowed for the birth of, The Score. It led to the downfall of the Fugees. Those emotions led to the downward spiral of Lauryn Hill’s mental state, and led to Wyclef’s marriage to nearly crumble. But, these two used their pain and expressed it into a beautiful new message. Lauryn Hill created The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, a story of tragedy and love, one of the most absolutely breathtaking works of our era. Lauryn would then gain superstar status, leading her to leave the public eye due to public pressure. And Wyclef created The Carnival, a story capturing his triumphs and struggles, speaking on his love affair, and internal troubles.

The tale of the Fugees is truly an amazing one, and what it teaches us about ourselves is even more incredible. Grasping the idea of creation, beauty, and destruction gives us a greater understanding of one another. Understanding that sometimes, the high points in our lives might ultimately be accompanied with our downfalls is a great lesson to learn. It’s just sad to see that this lesson had to be learned for one of music’s most influential groups.










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