(NEWARK, NJ) -- Ms. Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean and Pras Michel of legendary hip-hop group Fugees have reunited to announce their first world tour in 25 years and first shows in 15 years to celebrate the anniversary of 1996’s The Score, one of the greatest albums of all time. Presented by Diaspora Calling and produced by Live Nation, the 12-city international tour will make stops across the globe in Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, Paris, London, and more, before finishing the tour in Africa, with the final shows taking place in Nigeria and Ghana. Locally, they will play at the Prudential Center in Newark on Friday, November 26.
Fugees charitable fund will partner with Global Citizen to work on philanthropic initiatives around the tour.
"The Fugees have a complex but impactful history," said Ms. Lauryn Hill. "I wasn’t even aware the 25th anniversary had arrived until someone brought it to my attention. I decided to honor this significant project, its anniversary, and the fans who appreciated the music by creating a peaceful platform where we could unite, perform the music we loved, and set an example of reconciliation for the world."
Wyclef Jean added, "As I celebrate 25 years with the Fugees, my first memory was that we vowed, from the gate, we would not just do music we would be a movement. We would be a voice for the un-heard, and in these challenging times, I am grateful once again, that God has brought us together."
Though their heyday lasted for just five years and two albums, the Fugees were essentially a supergroup in reverse—a crew of crafty New Jersey MCs who, following their brief tenure together, would each go on to leave an indelible mark on the world of hip-hop. Debuting in the early ’90 as Tranzlator Crew, Lauryn Hill, her high-school friend Pras Michel, and his cousin Wyclef Jean eventually adopted the name Fugees, a shortened riff on “refugees” that nodded to the cousins’ shared Haitian-immigrant heritage.
The trio’s simmering social conscience was on full display on 1994’s Blunted on Reality, which channeled the pugilistic spirit of East Coast contemporaries like Public Enemy and Onyx. However, the album’s acoustic-strummed outlier, “Vocab,” provided a glimpse of the Caribbean influences that would flourish on 1996’s The Score, whose Godfather-inspired cover art served as a Trojan Horse for a record that offered a soulful antidote to (and lyrical rebuke of) gangsta rap. With its heady fusion of boom-bap beats and chilled island vibes, The Score was the platform on which Hill emerged as the group’s undeniable star, alternating between swooning chorus hooks and take-no-prisoners rhymes atop an Enya sample on “Ready or Not,” and claiming the Roberta Flack classic “Killing Me Softly” as her own on a sitar-spun remake.
A Grammy-winning, chart-topping, multi-plantinum phenomenon, The Score was the Fugees’ first and only hit record before the group disbanded, with Hill releasing her feminist-rap masterpiece, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, in 1998, Pras dropping the pop-rap crossover smash “Ghetto Superstar” that same year, and the prolific Jean emerging as a figurehead for the globalized sound of rap in the 21st century. A brief reunion in 2005 yielded the atypically frantic single “Take It Easy,” but the Fugees will forever stand as a paragon of ‘90s rap at its most smooth and sophisticated.
The Score remains one of the best-selling and most significant music albums of all time. Upon its release, it peaked at number one on the Billboard 200 charts and earned the group two Grammy Awards. Fugees were the first hip-hop group ever to be nominated for Album Of The Year, and the nomination also marked the second only rap album to be nominated for the top accolade as well at the time. The seven-time platinum album has sold over 22 million copies worldwide and remains the best-selling album ever by a hip-hop group. As of 2021, the album is the fifth most-streamed rap album released in the 1990s on Spotify. The album is featured prominently on lists including Rolling Stones’ “The 500 Greatest Albums of All-Time,” The Source’s “100 Best Rap Albums,” Spin’s “Top 90 Albums of the 90s,” Vibe’s “100 Essential Albums of the 20th Century,” and more. There is no doubt the influence of the album continues to ripple throughout music and culture.
FUGEES TOUR 2021 DATES:
Wed, Sept 22 – NYC – ???
Tues, Nov 2 – Chicago, IL – United Center
Sun, Nov 7 – Oakland, CA – Oakland Arena
Fri, Nov 12 – Los Angeles, CA – The Forum
Thurs, Nov 18 – Atlanta, GA – State Farm Arena
Sun, Nov 21 – Miami, FL – FTX Arena
Fri, Nov 26 – Newark, NJ – Prudential Center
Sun, Nov 28 – Washington D.C. – Capital One Arena
Sat, Dec 4 – Paris, France – La Defense Arena
Mon, Dec 6 – London, U.K. – The O2
??? – Nigeria – ???
Sat, Dec 18 – Ghana – ???
Photo by B+