Categories: MusicOriginals

The Essentials: Fugees [Playlist]

With the Fugees slated for a run of reunion tour dates, it’s only right we revisit a batch of classics and deep cuts from the group’s joint and solo output.

Ready or not, The Fugees are back in action. This morning, the group announced a round of reunion tour dates commencing tomorrow night with a pop-up show at an undisclosed location in New York City and capping with a trip to Ghana at the beginning of December. With the trajectory set and a legion of fans across multiple continents prepping for their chance to see Wyclef, Pras, and Ms. Lauryn Hill, live and direct, it seems like we’ve landed at an ideal point to revisit the classics and deep cuts from the group that helped define the Golden Era. 

Under the wing of Kool & The Gang’s Ronald Bell, the Fugees recorded their debut album in West Orange, New Jersey in 1992. Though it didn’t see release until two years later due to tensions with their then-label Ruffhouse, Blunted on Reality provided a gritty introduction to a gifted trio of unorthodox rappers. Despite the absence of a breakout hit, the album was anchored by two sleek and half-sung singles, “Vocab” and “Nappy Heads,” which went to be cult classics for the burgeoning back-pack era of hip-hop. Crucial remixes of the tracks, both helmed by Salaam Remi, served as potent place-holders for the group’s follow-through.

Two years later, the Fugees rode a wave of respective solo triumphs between albums into their final joint outing. On February 13th, 1996, the group released their sophomore stunner, The Score. Bolstered by the Remi-produced namesake anthem, “Fu-Gee-La,” as well as “Ready or Not” and their timeless, chart-topping take on Roberta Flack’s version of “Killing Me Softly,” the album went on to win Grammys for “Best Rap Album” and “Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group” as both a critical and pedestrian darling.

To celebrate the group’s reunion and 25 years of the score we’ve gathered the hits and sleepers from the Fugees short by wildly influential catalog for a new installment of our Essentials playlist.

Tune into an Essentials devoted to the Fugees below and enter for a chance to win a pair of tickets to the group’s first show in 15 years.


Zo is a staff writer at Okayplayer where he covers music.

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