The Fugees is Formed
The Fugees were an American hip hop group who rose to fame in the mid-1990s.
Their repertoire included elements of Hip hop, soul and Caribbean music, particularly reggae. The members of the group are rapper/singer/producer Wyclef Jean, rapper/singer/producer Lauryn Hill, and rapper Pras Michel. Deriving their name from the term refugee, Jean and Pras are Haitian American, while Hill is American. The group recorded two albums—one of which, The Score (1996), was a multi-platinum and Grammy-winning success—before disbanding in 1997 and 2009. Hill and Jean each went on to successful solo recording careers; Michel focused on soundtrack recordings and acting, though he found commercial success with his song "Ghetto Supastar". In 2007, MTV ranked them the 9th greatest Hip-hop group of all time.
The trio released their first LP, Blunted on Reality, in 1994 under the guidance of legendary Kool and the Gang's producer Ronald khalis Bell. The album spawned two underground hits, "Nappy Heads (Mona Lisa)" and "Vocab", but gained little mainstream attention, although it had an unmistakable artistic quality and a very innovative approach in the use of samples. The musical qualities of this first opus would be rediscovered, after the release of their second album The Score which appeared in early 1996.
The Score became one of the biggest hits of 1996 and one of the best-selling hip hop albums of all time. The Fugees first gained attention for their cover versions of old favorites, with the group's reinterpretations of "No Woman No Cry" by Bob Marley & the Wailers and "Killing Me Softly with His Song" by Roberta Flack, the latter being their biggest hit. The album also included a re-interpretation of The Delfonics' "Ready or Not Here I Come (Can't Hide From Love)" in their hit single, "Ready or Not", which featured a prominent sample of Enya's Boadicea without the singer's permission. This prompted a lawsuit resulting in a settlement where Enya was given credit and royalties for her sample. The Fugees have continuously thanked and praised Enya for her deep understanding of the situation, for example in the liner notes for The Score. The Fugees won two 1997 Grammy Awards with The Score (Best Rap Album) and "Killing Me Softly" (Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group).
In 1997, the Fugees all began solo projects: Hill started work on her critically acclaimed The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill; Jean began producing for a number of artists (including Canibus, Destiny's Child and Carlos Santana) and recorded his debut album The Carnival; Pras, with Mya and Ol' Dirty Bastard, recorded the single "Ghetto Supastar" for the soundtrack to the Warren Beatty/Halle Berry film Bulworth.
Refugee Camp, while a name sometimes credited to the trio, also refers to a number of artists affiliated with them, and particularly Jean. John Forté was an early member, rapping and drum programming on two of The Score's tracks, and served a 14-year prison sentence for cocaine trafficking until his sentence was commuted in November 2008 by George W. Bush.