100 Best Albums of the '90s

From Moby to Nirvana, the records that defined a decade

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Fugees, 'The Score'

44. Fugees, 'The Score'

A hip-hop mod squad from the streets of Dirty Jersey, the Fugees combined streetwise flash with righteous boho cool on their second album to become the biggest rap franchise this side of the Wu-Tang Clan. Lauryn Hill's scorched soul vocals — half Nina Simone, half Al Capone — flavor the Caribbean style of Wyclef Jean and Pras Michel. The Fugees prove themselves a damn fine wedding band with their covers of "Killing Me Softly" and "No Woman, No Cry," but they hit even harder in gems like "Family Business," trading vocals over a loop of Godfather-style acoustic guitar. The Score crosses boundaries of gender and geography, reinventing hip-hop as music for an international refugee camp of brothers and sisters with the inner-city blues. Lauryn and Wyclef took different roads on their solo joints, but The Score laid down the blueprint for the Fugees' vision of the world as a ghetto.

Video: Wyclef Jean Performs Live and Talks Haiti

Rolling Stone's Original 1996 Review

Video: Lauryn Hill Performs Intimate Gig to Kick Off Tour

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