On this day, February 13, in hip-hop history...

1996: Today marks 23 years since the Fugees first killed us softly with their multi-platinum sophomore album The Score. The New Jersey trio created a masterpiece that generated many hits and won two Grammy Awards, including one that was for Best Rap Album.

The Fugees managed to blend their essence of jazz, rap and reggae with old school R&B that captivated the masses and launched the group to superstardom. In 1996, The Score ranked number one on both the Billboard 200 and the R&B/Hip Hop charts. It also spun hits such as “Ready or Not,” which sampled a Delfonics’ song by the same title, “No Woman, No Cry,” a Bob Marley remake, “Fu-Gee-La,” that features Teena Marie’s “Ooh La La” and their smash single, "Killing Me Softly," a flip of the Roberta Flack classic, which went to number one on the charts and won the trio a Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group.

The Score would also create a platform for three solo careers. In 1997, the group took a break for Lauryn Hill to give birth and that same year, Wyclef Jean released his first solo album The Carnival Featuring The Refugee Allstars. Lauryn would follow up in 1998 with her own solo album, the critically acclaimed Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, which won her six Grammy Awards. Pras also followed suit and gained buzz with his single “Ghetto Supastar” featuring Mya and Ol’ Dirty Bastard off of the Bulworth soundtrack.

The Fugees would reunite various times in the early-2000s for appearances, and even embarked on a European tour in 2005. But despite attempts to produce new work, The Score would be the last official Fugees album. — Christina Garner 


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