On this day, Feb. 1, in hip-hop history...

1994: New Jersey trio Fugees dropped their debut album Blunted on Reality on Feb. 1, 1994.

As three Jersey kids with Haitian heritage who formed in 1990, the refugees signed to Ruffhouse Records in 1993. Lauryn Hill, Pras Michel and Wyclef Jean aimed to bring island culture and heritage into the rap game, where it had been missing in the midst of West Coast gangsta rap. Though it was written and recorded two years prior, Blunted on Reality didn't actually drop until 1994, due to label complications.

The 18-track LP featured Pras and Wyclef as executive producers with direction from Kool & The Gang producer, Ronald Bell, and a soulful interlude courtesy of Rashad Muhammad. The sound and lyrical delivery of the album pulled from reggae fusion, afrobeat and jazz.

Though the album's lead single was "Boof Baf," released in October 1993, "Nappy Heads" proved to be the most successful single off the album, charting at No. 49 on The Billboard Hot 100. Overall, the album peaked at No. 62 on Billboard's US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts.

The original reception to Blunted on Reality was lukewarm at best, but was a crucial indicator of where the group was headed musically. It's 1994 release only moved 12,000 copies but after Fugees followed up with their sophomore album, The Score, in 1996, fans of the trio went back to buy the first album in their discography tenfold. Since 1996, the debut has sold more than 130,000 copies.

Ruffhouse Records
Ruffhouse Records

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