Throwback: The Fugees-Fu-Gee-La


The Fugees were in their moment when a song written for Spike Lee’s Clockers was transformed into “Fu-Gee-La.” The lead single from their sophomore album The Score was the first sign that things had changed for them because Blunted On Reality didn’t show attract the same notice. Producer Salaam Remi cleverly blended their reverence for reggae and the influence of their home base in New Jersey to craft the sound. Samples of  Teena Marie’s “Ooo La La La” and Ramsey Lewis’s “If Loving You Is Wrong (I Don’t Want To Be Right)” and the Poor Righteous Teachers’ “Shakiyla (JRH)” was recycled into the profile of their seminal breakthrough song. The video was inspired by Jimmy Cliff’s movie The Harder They Come and was also shot in Jamaica. “Fu-Gee-La” was The Fugees’ announcing themselves and being noticed by the world. It was the beginning of the album’s greatness which would grow in recognition with “Killing Me Softly” and “Ready Or Not.” The Score would define greatness for the era and won Best Rap Album at The Grammys. The Fugees’ second album was their last as the members went solo but The Score’s pulse continues to be felt in pop music through artists like Kanye West and Doja Cat. In 2021, The Fugees announced a reunion tour to celebrate the 25th anniversary of The Score but the dates were postponed to 2022.