In 1996, The Fugees (Wyclef Jean, Lauryn Hill, and Pras) rose to stardom with their breakout album, The Score.
The trio were promptly referred to as the anointed musical vanguards of their time due to their genre-traversing music.
The New Jersey-based group allowed their music to do the talking at a time when coastal beefs were dominating the headlines and trending conversations were focused on records sold and singles produced.
The key to their success, according to music connoisseurs, was the plan to make their voices seemingly inescapable upon their sophomore release, ultimately preventing them from falling into obscurity.
Before the release of The Score, the group had released their debut album, Blunted On Reality on Ruffhouse Records.
This turned out to be a dismal, commercial failure, peaking at No. 62 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and not appearing on the Billboard 200 at all.
Giving his opinion about how their maiden album was received as they expected it to, Fugees member, Wyclef Jean, speaking to Vibe, noted that:
“What’s amazing about Blunted On Reality was it gave us the ability to take our time and learn and adjust and grow from where we was at.”
Wyclef Jean went on to say that following the release of the album, the group had the opportunity to travel all over Europe as the album continued to receive negative reviews in America. He added that the album served as an introduction to where the group wanted to go.
He further noted that their second album, The Score, was better appreciated by their fans, and could largely be because of the inclusion of Ronald Bell, better known as Khalis Bayyan, who was a member of the music group, Kool & the Gang.
In his opinion, Bayyan took The Fugees under his wing and helmed production on the latter.