The Fugees rose to Hip Hop stardom in the mid-’90s and stole our hearts away with raw, honest lyrics and unforgettable production. Lauryn Hill stood alongside Wyclef Jean and Pras Michel to call out what they saw was wrong in the world from corrupt government to violence in the ghetto. They also weren’t afraid to be vulnerable and honest, which allowed them to transcend genre and time. Their second album, The Score was their most influential and unfortunately, their last. However, Lauryn Hill went on to change the game with The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and Wyclef continued the Refugee Camp legacy. Today, there is no artist or group that can compete with the Fugees’ mark on the culture. But many artists know the importance of their legacy and pay tribute through their own music. Here is a list of modern nods to the Fugees and Lauryn Hill.
Kanye West – “All Falls Down”
At first, Kanye West sampled Hill’s vocals from “Mystery of Iniquity” for the chorus of this track off College Dropout. Hill wouldn’t clear the sample because she didn’t like her voice on it, according to Syleena Johnson who ended up singing the chorus on the final version.
J. Cole – “Cole Summer”
The North Carolina rapper and producer used the soothing beat from Lauryn Hill’s “Nothing Even Matters” to create the prelude track for Born Sinner. After the Kanye incident, Hill got the reputation for being protective of her material and J. Cole takes note. “This sample was yelling ‘Loop me’ / Ms. Hill, please don’t sue me / ‘Cause I ain’t one a these rappers frontin’ like he got it”
Trey Songz – “Na Na”
The singer took the flow from “Fu-Gee-La” to make his hit song. He puts a flirty twist on Lauryn Hill’s classic “Oh la la la” chorus over a beat from DJ Mustard.
Rapsody – “One Time”
Drake – “Draft Day”
The production group The Fam samples Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing)” on Drizzy’s tribute to his friend Johnny Manziel.
Wiz Khalifa, Lola Monroe, Juicy J – “Oh Gee La”
The Taylor Gang rappers join their friend for a fun freestyle over the “Fu-Gee-La” beat and incorporate the melody of the original into their raps. Listen for Lola’s laugh halfway through the song.
Lecrae, Derek Minor (f/k/a PRo), Sho Baraka and Andy Mineo – “Power Trip (Alex Medina Remix)”
Reach Records producer Alex Medina remixed this cut from Lecrae’s Grammy-winning album Gravity over the soft serenity of “Ready or Not.” Vocal samples from Notorious B.I.G. and Kanye West make this a grand slam remix.
Meek Mill – “Ready Or Not”
The MMG emcee paid tribute to the Fugees with this song from Dreamchasers 2. Producer All Star samples the original song from the Fugees, and Meek Mill starts his bars with Hill’s chorus.
Talib Kweli – “Miss Hill”
Talib Kweli pays homage to the Hip Hop heroine and his friend in this cut. He shows her understanding and offers true friendship amongst people questioning her sudden disappearance from the scene. “I know you hate Babylon and wanna see it fall / They won’t let you read your poem at the BET Awards / You give us hope, you give us faith, you the one”
Kanye West – “Champion”
Yeezy laments Hill’s disappearance from the music world in this track from Graduation. He shares all of our wishes in wanting her to return. He says he will try to fill in for her as a mentor for the youth. “Lauryn Hill said her heart was in Zion / I wish her heart still was in rhymin / ‘Cause who the kids gonna listen to? Huh? / I guess me if it isn’t you”
Mali Music – “Fugees Flow Million Times”
The singer released this track that didn’t make his Mali Is album. He croons over the “Ready or Not” beat and adds his own inspirational lyrics.
BONUS: DJ Alexei Drizzy Settles The Score
The New York deejay took some of Drake’s top hits and remixed them with The Score to create this mixtape. Whether you consider it blasphemous or awesome, it is still a cool tribute. Listen to it here.
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