EAST ORANGE, NJ — Twenty-five years ago, the epic album titled, “The Score” was recorded and released by the Fugees at the Booga Basement, located at 232 South Clinton Street in East Orange, New Jersey, and released on February 13, 1996.
The album which combined, Hip Hop, R&B, and Reggae sold over 20 million copies world-wide.
While no one can “reverse the earth and turn it back into dust” (a Wyclef lyric from the album), fans can take a journey in their memory back to the year 1996. This was the year three people from Essex County came together to create a unique and original sound for the second time. The first was in 1994 for their album titled, “Blunted on Reality”. The Fugees, made up of Wyclef Jean, Lauryn Hill, and Prakazel "Pras" Michel created music that succeeded in a space of oxymoron; it was both hip and different, while also being energetic and relaxing. Its thought-provoking and conscious lyrics took listeners on a journey, encouraging people to be confident in their own unique style.
The lyrics and bars of “The Score” have been considered by fans to be so good, they are still quoted and relevant today. Lauryn on mic was female empowerment and equality. Wyclef was strong and deep with his biblical analogies. Praz quick and swift with his puns.
Celebrating twenty-five years since the albums release, East Orange Mayor, Ted R. Green issued a proclamation to commemorate the milestone anniversary, congratulating the Fugees on their legendary musical success, which includes record-breaking sales of over 20 million copies worldwide.
Members of the Fugees have maintained a connection to East Orange over the years, most recently with Wyclef Jean filming his “Hendrix” video on South Clinton Street in 2016 and Lauryn Hill supporting the grand opening of her personal chef’s restaurant “Spice N Thing” on Main Street in East Orange in 2018.
Prior to 2016 taping of Wyclef’s video, which also featured East Orange native Kyemah McEntyre, members of the East Orange All-Stars Cheerleading Team, and other East Orange teens, Wyclef sat down and held a roundtable discussion with local high school students about police brutality and the current state of race relations in America. He also was recently spotted supporting Burnet BBQ, a family-owned restaurant, on Hoffman Boulevard.