Throwback Thursday: “Fu-Gee-La” by the Fugees
October 9th, 2014
Without a doubt, the Fugees are a legendary hip hop group comprised of three talented artists who made beautiful music in the mid to late 1990’s. Composed of rapper/singer/producer Wyclef Jean, rapper/singer-songwriter/producer Lauryn Hill, and rapper Pras Michel, the Fugees definitely made a mark in hip hop history. Their first album, Blunted on Reality, was recorded in 1992 but not released until early 1994 due to a long dispute with their label, Ruffhouse Records. Three singles were released and the album peaked at 62 on Billboard’s U.S. Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums. Their second album, The Score, was a commercial success and peaked at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200.
While most fans might declare The Score’s “Killing Me Softly” or “Ready or Not” as their favorite song, my personal favorite tune from the Fugees is 1996’s “Fu-Gee-La.” The song was the first single off their sophomore record and sampled “If Loving You Is Wrong, I Don’t Want To Be Right” by Ramsey Lewis, as well as a chorus based on Teena Marie’s “Ooo La La La.” It ended up being the highest-selling single from the Fugees. The video for “Fu-Gee-La” followed the group in a robbery situation and was filmed in Jamaica.
After their second album, the Fugees disbanded in 1997 but each member individually found success. Jean endured a successful solo career that included many hits records, such as 1998’s “Guantanamera,” which features Celia Cruz and Jeni Fujita, and the Mary J. Blige assisted “9-1-1.” Hill also endured solo success with her only studio album, 1998’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. The album spawned three hit singles, such as “Doo Wop (That Thing).” Michel had success working on soundtracks and doing some acting but he had a great amount of success with the 1998 Mya and Ol’ Dirty Bastard assisted “Ghetto Supastar (That Is What You Are).”
The group reunited in 2004 at a concert in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, which was featured in the 2004 movie Dave Chappelle’s Block Party, and then later at the 2005 BET Music Awards. A reunion album was in the works but the song “Take It Easy” was leaked and met with negative reception from the fans. Honestly, I hope another Fugees reunion happens very soon, as well as another attempt at a new album, as fans of the group are eager for new music. Check out the music video to “Fu-Gee-La” below.