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The Score

Fugees

1996

Buy At Rough Trade
The Score
Album Summary

The Score is the second and final studio album by the hip hop trio Fugees. The Score was released worldwide on February 13, 1996, on Columbia Records. The album features a wide range of samples and instrumentation, with many aspects of alternative hip hop that would come to dominate the hip-hop music scene in the mid-late 1990s. Primarily, The Score's production was handled by the Fugees themselves, Jerry Duplessis and Warren Riker, with additional production from Salaam Remi, John Forté, Diamond D, and Shawn King. The album's guest verses are from Outsidaz members Rah Digga, Young Zee, and Pacewon, as well as Omega, John Forté, and Diamond D. Most versions of the album feature four bonus tracks, including three remixes of "Fu-Gee-La", and a short acoustic Wyclef Jean solo track entitled "Mista Mista". Upon its release, The Score was a commercial success, peaking at the number one spot on the Billboard 200, and becoming the third best selling album of 1996. It also topped the Top R&B/Hip-hop Albums chart for eight weeks, becoming the longest running number one for a hip hop group, and topped the 1996 year-end chart. The singles "Killing Me Softly", "Fu-Gee-La", and "Ready or Not" also achieved notable chart success, and helped the group achieve worldwide recognition. The album received mostly favorable reviews. It was nominated for the Grammy Award for Album of the Year, becoming the second rap album to receive a nomination and the first for a hip hop group, while winning the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album, along with Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for "Killing Me Softly" at the 39th Grammy Awards. In retrospect, The Score has garnered a considerable amount of acclaim over the years, with many music critics and publications noting it as one of the greatest albums of the 1990s, as well as one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time. In 1998, The Score was included in The Source's 100 best rap albums list, and in 2020, the album was ranked number 134 on Rolling Stone magazine's revised list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.As of February 2021, The Score has been certified seven times platinum in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It is the best-selling album by an American hip hop act in France, where the album has been certified Diamond. With an estimated 22 million copies sold worldwide, the album has become one of the best-selling albums of all time, at the time of its release it briefly became the best-selling hip hop album of all time, and remains the best-selling album by a hip hop group. As of June 2021, the album is the fifth most streamed rap album released in the 1990s on Spotify.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.71

Votes

11721
Genres
Hip Hop

Reviews

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Sat Jun 19 2021
5

Intelligent, a little angry, and with effortless cool. Perfection. “So while you fuming, I’m consuming mango juice under Polaris You’re just embarrassed 'cause it's your last tango in Paris And even after all my logic and my theory I add a ‘motherfucker’ so you ignant niggas hear me” Mic drop

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Thu Apr 29 2021
5

This album is an absolute phenomenon, a supernova for the group. While I do like some of their solo material that came afterwards, I feel they were stronger together. In fact, when I think about it, I personally tend to prefer hip hop groups like this for the dynamics it provides. I feel like this album is largely a result of their creating a home studio and being given complete artistic control. A case where label trust paid off in dividends. I love the atmosphere they captured and cinematic flow throughout. Always been more of a fan of the east coast sound in general. The Fugees are particularly skilled at layering (often brief) overdubs in just the right places to build a very complex sound that isn't overly dense so as to weigh it down. Lauryn Hill is definitely my favorite female rapper and a big part of what makes this album stand out. Another thing that sets this album apart are the covers/adaptations they incorporated and while some may think that may detract from it as a pure hip hop album in some way, I think it's stronger for it musically. In fact, I think this album's greatest strength may be it's depth and range of emotions.

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Sat Jun 19 2021
5

The only disappointment it shame here is that the Fugees didn’t stay together. Wow, what could have been. Miseducation of Lauryn Hill was great, Carnival was very good… but the Score is next level. Unmatchable. Six stars if I could. The rhymes, the references, I could go on and on.

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Fri Feb 26 2021
5

The Platonic Form of Hip Hop. Lauryn Hill is hands down what elevates this album to a firm 5.

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Mon Nov 22 2021
2

This was the first album that was a real struggle for me. Thankfully, there are a few well known tracks on here such as Fu-Gee La and Killing me Softly, but without those I think I'd have turned it off halfway through. I feel like I'd appreciate this more if I could be arsed to listen more closely to lyrics, or maybe if I was in more urban surroundings, but this definitely does not suit autumnal small middle class English town vibes. When I put in the effort to listen to lyrics, I did appreciate them, but I never do pay too much mind to lyrics in general. This is hard to rate as I did enjoy the songs I knew but everything outside of those few songs were a proper struggle.

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Thu Jul 22 2021
5

Incredible album. Like a great piece of classical music, this album was thematic, self-referential, and incorporated previous melodies and lyrics to create a sense that this album is meant to be listed to as a whole, as a piece of music rather than a collection of songs. The flows on this album are some of the best I've ever heard. Lauryn Hill is the clear standout, though Wyclef Jean and Pras Michel are also incredible. It's no wonder why this group is one of the most influential in hip hop.

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Wed Aug 25 2021
5

Hip-hop is a lot easier to listen to now that each rap album doesn't come with 15 minutes of bizarre skits interspersed throughout the songs. The Chinese restaurant skit brings this album to a full stop. Setting that aside, this is a great album. Filled with classics. The music is diverse and interesting throughout, and each member of the group brings a lot of lyrical strength to the album, though Lauren Hill is the clear leader of the group. This album is dense. Killing Me Softly doesn't come until halfway through the album, as if it was an afterthought among all the other great songs on the album. It's good straight through to the last song 5/5

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Sun Mar 28 2021
3

I've heard about this album for a while, but this is my virgin listen. Nice grooves but a lot of the tempo and vibe felt the same, except for the covers. Not bad, but didn't do a lot for me.

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Wed Jun 02 2021
1

I should say i liked this for cred but i didn't, it bored the tits off me

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Tue Nov 16 2021
5

This is the exact definition of the style of hip hop that I love. Laid back, sonically interesting, writing that's both intelligent and funny, expertly crafted.

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Tue Oct 05 2021
4

Jeez, what an album. And the timing is perfect. The Fugees are on everyone's radar once again after announcing their return, touring 'The Score' to mark its 25th anniversary. I just watched some clips of them playing Global Citizen Live. They tore the place up! What a performance. Lauryn Hill remains a force of nature. I get goosebumps every time I hear her rap on 'Ready or Not'. Check out her live version of the song at Atlantic City Limits if you want goosebumps of your own. A five star review, right? The only thing that brings 'The Score' down is the skits. Do any hip hop skits really stand the test of time? Maybe a few of Eminem's; Wu-Tang Clan had some funny stuff on their albums. Busta Rhymes' 'Only One Year Left' was prescient and remains as disturbing as when it was released via 'Extinction Level Event' in '98. But across a whole album? Lauryn Hill's 'Mis-education...' is probably the only record where all the skits remain timeless; but that's due to the unwavering sentiment and the connection to the narrative as a whole. You can't say the same for 'The Score' and the skits definitely knock it down a tad from being one of the all-time great albums. Still, what an album. Maybe it's the nostalgia of seeming them playing it together again after 2 and a half decades, but each track has just improved and aged like well-rhymed moonshine. The hits remain classic: 'Fu-gee-La' to 'Ready or Not' and 'Killing Me Softly', of course. ONE TIME. But even the fringe songs bring new life to them. 'The Beast' has manifested from feeling like a slightly sinister and unnerving skit to something hugely topical and ahead of its time. I now appreciate the mastery of using 'Dove' by Cymande for the sample in the song 'The Score' whereas I wouldn't have known the reference back in the day. Even the cover of 'No Woman, No Cry' I can now appreciate, despite all the slightly hammy interjections and lyric changes from Wyclef Jean. Above all, I just love Lauryn Hill. So much talent. I hope 'Mis-education...' made it onto the 1001 list, but if not I can at least get my fix and settle for her brilliance on 'The Score'. TWO TIME. Hey. You can't listen to 'The Score' too many times, let's be honest.

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Thu Mar 23 2023
4

Pretty unique record this. Manages to be soulful and still have that nineties street feel. I'm a fan of the melodic flows the group use, definitely adds extra colour to tracks. Ms Hill is probably the stand out member. She brings a confident feminine swagger and perspective that I don't think you see often in any album, let alone a hip hop one. There's a world music feel to it too, which definitely add to the NY/big city vibe. Don't think that this makes it into five territory, but it's a top drawer album.

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Thu May 06 2021
1

Hip hop is not my thing, and maybe this was different for its time, but I absolutely hated this. Not only was the start weird, confusing, couldn't understand what people were saying with just a bunch of talking over each other, but each track felt identical. Not just to every other track, but they all felt like a very bland, boring, "generic" hip hop sounds hundreds of other artists do this exact same way. Maybe they kicked it off, but it just sounds like a shitty SoundCloud rapper's recording from their parents basement

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Sat Sep 11 2021
1

I didn't listen. But a 1 for being a racist moron.

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Sun Feb 07 2021
5

How have I never listened to this album all the way through. Beats, production, samples, singing, rap, features were truly perfect. They perfected their sound

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Tue Feb 01 2022
5

Honest and raw, this album oozes truth.

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Tue Jul 26 2022
5

Ooo la la la! Classic hip hop album. What's not to love in it? Plus, someone like me, who loves to keep the *score*, is bound give this one a five, isn't he? Inventive rap flows, Lauryn Hill's mellifluous voice, an all-around pristine production, interesting covers, great originals... This record is killing me softly with its songs every time I play it. Number of albums left to review or just listen to: 848 Number of albums from the list I find relevant enough to be mandatory: 83 (including this one) Albums from the list I *might* include in mine later on: 38 Albums from the list I will certainly *not* include in mine (many others are more important): 32

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Mon Oct 09 2023
5

Absolutely incredible. I wouldn't even say there's a single average song on here, let alone a bad one. Has the same characteristic as most hip hop albums where the samples pretty much remain static throughout each song which is a mixed bag for me (I can find it really repetitive), but here I don't mind it. Swapping between vocals, as well as just playing with a bunch of different genres from song to song keeps everything dynamic, but it never loses cohesiveness. The whole thing is over an hour and I didn't even realize it. Can't really think of a negative thing to say about it. It's easily one of the best albums I've ever heard. Fav Songs Ready or Not Fu-Gee-La Family Business Killing Me Softly With His Song The Score Cowboys No Woman, No Cry Not part of the original album but Mista Mista is also really great

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Tue Oct 10 2023
5

yeah this was pretty great. i'm not a big rap guy but there were several songs on here i already knew before this. the quality of the rapping and the beats/production were great. the skits were kind of corny - we don't have to talk about the restaurant one... but otherwise OK. overall, I really enjoyed my time with this album!

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Fri Oct 13 2023
5

I actually loved this, didn't think I would. I never would have listened to hip hop on my own! I think I'll be a lot more open to it now. The mask and their cover of no woman no cry are added to my rotation now.

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Sat Mar 20 2021
4

“The Score” by Fugees (1996) First time listen. Nice grooves, interesting reggae feel, well recorded and mixed. Sampling is not overdone (but really, Enya’s “Boadicea” on “Ready or Not”?). It’s hip hop I could listen to on a long drive. Tasteful reverb. Very good sound. But what stands out on this album is Lauryn Hill’s voice—powerful, throaty, and resonant. I could listen to a lot more of that. Hill’s “Killing Me Softly” is better than Roberta Flack’s. It’s that good. I bought it. Lyrics are full of references that require the listener to pay attention and maybe do some research, which is appealing, but they often lack significance. Or sometimes I wonder if the artists are even aware of the fact that, for instance, the skillfully rapid “la-las” on the chorus of “Fu-Gee-La” came straight off the intro to Billy Stewart’s cover of “Summertime”(1966). But again, to what end? It’s cool, but why? It’s rather like Mozart to a guy who is more into Mahler. I could do with less of the standard 1990s rap lyric boastfulness, but maybe it (or I) will develop. This is very good album. In the history of American recorded music, Fugees are here to stay. I love this country. 4/5

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Sat Jun 19 2021
3

The music on this album is present, but not really a feature. The music takes a back seat which allows our focus to be on the main thing. And the main thing are the words, the verses, the social exposition. Mista Mista is a stark commentary on a person in need of help who is denigrated when asking for assistance. The Beast is another strong account of a system rigged against black Americans. I enjoy Ready Or Not and Zealots, where the sample is spot on. The famous covers on the album, Killing Me Softly With His Song and No Woman No Cry, are well done. I like hearing this album, and I feel like I should like it more. But when it comes down to it, I’m not putting it in my library, and that’s the line I draw between 3 and 4 stars. I’m not quite sure why. I don’t have a very good explanation, which bothers me. My only thought is that there isn’t much variety to the sound amongst the songs. They all kind of blend together aesthetically from a high level. That’s all I got.

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Thu Dec 16 2021
3

Attention Robert, après une période d'eldorado du générateur, voila que tu te remets a nous proposer une longue serie d'albums de qualité insuffisante pour obtenir un 4/5. Nous ne céderons pas à la panique, mais restons néammoins sur nos gardes.

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Thu Dec 16 2021
3

J'avais bien évidemment des a priori au sujet de Lauryn Hill avant de lancer cet album. La presse s'en donne généralement à cœur joie pour critiquer son comportement capricieux. Je lançai toutefois la lecture du projet en question. Mais alors que les pistes défilaient, toujours pas la moindre trace de Lauryn. "Patientez encore un instant, Lauryn Hill devrait arriver d'une minute à l'autre." annonçait régulièrement une voix. Je patientai donc encore un peu. Alors que je vis sur mon écran que l'avant-dernière piste venait de commencer et que la star n'avait toujours pas prononcé le moindre mot, je décidai d'abandonner l'écoute, très énervé et remonté.

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Mon Mar 28 2022
3

The skits aren't de trop, but the raps can be hard work, and the aesthetic is B-team Wu-Tang.

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Mon Dec 07 2020
1

Dont like 90s rap. This album sucks

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Mon Sep 13 2021
1

I really dislike this album and have nothing positive to say. sorry

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Sun Oct 09 2022
1

Wow, I absolutely hated this one. There are some hip-hop albums on this list that make me think "hm, maybe I don't necessarily dislike hip-hop after all". And then there are ones like this one that just suck so much.

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Tue Jan 03 2023
1

Another album I thought that maybe I would enjoy. And yet, I really, really, didn’t. Seems like the beats were all similar except the covers and Killing Me Softly. The later ALMOST makes me raise this to a 2, but the number of times I wanted to switch to anything else was just too much for me.

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Mon Mar 22 2021
5

Amazing samples, super unique rap album. Giving it a 4 for now, but this might go up. And it did!

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Mon Sep 21 2020
5

The singles are the keepers, but also top quality for How Many Mics, Zealots, Score, Mask and No Woman. Not much filler. Remixes are forgettable.

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Wed Mar 17 2021
5

Tätä tuli siskon kanssa kuunneltua moneen otteeseen aikoinaan ja edelleen toimii kuin häkä.

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Wed Oct 07 2020
5

Certified Classic . An album to study . Sample selection is crazy

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Mon Jan 18 2021
5

10/10 Intense, smooth af Damn

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Thu Jan 21 2021
5

Lauryn Hill is massively underrated

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Mon Feb 22 2021
5

This album rules. I did not know there were so many hits on this one and I was surprised by how many songs I recognized but didn’t know were them. I think I listened to this album 3 times over the weekend! So good

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Wed Feb 03 2021
5

Amazing beats and samples, rhythms are also tight

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Thu Apr 29 2021
5

Love this, excellent songs and kept my interest throughout. The three of them have a nice dynamic that keeps the songs moving. Lots of great samples. My only complaint is the bonus tracks, not needed.

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Sat Feb 20 2021
5

i finally get it! i wasn’t old enough before

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Sat Jan 23 2021
5

Wow I finally see why this is so popular

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Wed Jan 20 2021
5

Haha 10/10 easily. This is arguably one of the best hip hop albums of all time for me. This will be required listening for kids if I had them. It's a complete album - front to back - this is a weird comparison, but like Dark Side, it's an experience with perfect songs that radio can pull out. It is hard to start but ideas that come to mind are : Lauren Hill Band that is loving playing music together Awesome samples and uses of them 90s poetry infused verses (makes references stand up to time and interesting) Amazing Interludes (you want beef?!) Arguments for Praz being crucial to the Fugees Wyclef Genius Maybe my favorite singing part in a hip hop song to belt out of all time? (more later) Boom Bap LAUREN at her best? Best Songs : 1) Killing me Softly Talk to me about 3:12+! Probably my favorite rap singing part ever to sing out loud doing Lauren's part? Even the later parts are good where they just talk and riff. Then! (below) 2) The Score I just like the way this one sounds mostly - New Yorkish - bassline - also, they sample themselves in it (amongst lots of other cool stuff) 3) The Mask - I honestly had this at 2 earlier, but I got caught up in the post Killing Softly hype and rolled with it. I am a sucker for songs that spell things for one - for 2 - I walk the streets and camouflage my identity. Also I am wearing the mask a lot. Also what happened to Steve, really? Mixing, creativity, band vibe : all on point. 10/10 all around.

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Tue May 04 2021
5

The Score is the second and final studio album by the hip hop trio Fugees. Upon its release, The Score was a commercial success, peaking at the number one spot on both the Billboard 200, and the Top R&B/Hip-hop Albums chart (it was a number one album on the latter in 1996 on the year-end chart), becoming the third best selling album of 1996. With an estimated 22 million copies sold worldwide,[3] the album has become one of the best-selling albums of all time, at the time of its release it became the best selling hip hop album of all time,[4] while it remains the best selling album by a hip hop group.[5] The Score was nominated for the Grammy Award for Album of the Year, becoming the second rap album to receive a nomination and the first for a hip hop group

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Thu Apr 22 2021
5

I didn't finish it yet, but this a great hip-hop/soul album. Unbelievable that I didn't know it until today. Thank you 1001albumsgenerator!

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Wed Feb 24 2021
5

Amazing album with some classics

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Wed Jan 20 2021
5

Even better than I remembered

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Wed Jan 20 2021
5

This album has aged really well. Some tracks wouldn't be out of place on the airwaves if commercial radio.

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Fri Mar 12 2021
5

The best album this list has churned up so far by a very long way. Its so good I forgive the length and the interludes.

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Fri Jan 29 2021
5

Didn’t get all the way through it but it’s an album I’m familiar enough with. Stone cold classic

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Thu Feb 04 2021
5

Makes me want to wander the streets of a large city, drinking in all the sights, sounds, smells, and feels. The reggae tones are vibrant. I'm now reminiscing about my early days when I first discovered Marley.

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Wed Mar 03 2021
5

This was played so much growing up.

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Fri Mar 26 2021
5

Historic, influential, landmark.

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Fri Feb 26 2021
5

From the get-go one of the greatest hip hop albums I've ever heard. Absolutely blown away.

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Wed May 05 2021
5

Love the vocals from Lauryn Hill and Wyclef Jean in this album. Very unique and loved the samples that were used. Very iconic songs and very comforting. This album had an almost edgy-like feel to it. Highly recommend listening to it.

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Sat Jun 05 2021
5

Amazing. Never heard it before and will definitely get a lot more runs. Loved it.

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Wed May 19 2021
5

Ya lo conocia y es excelente

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Mon Jul 26 2021
5

For me, this album just encapsulates all the goodness of 90s R&B

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Mon May 17 2021
5

Brilliant. Full of great songs. Worth powering through some of the weirder skits but just par for the course at the time I guess.

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Sat Aug 21 2021
5

Masterpiece. Some of the best songs of the decade are on here. Lauryn Hill is a GENIUS!!!

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Mon Aug 23 2021
5

Incredible. Sad that it would be impossible to stay up late enough to see Lauren hill now.

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Sun Sep 12 2021
5

I don't know the last time I had listened to this album start to finish and it was so much more than I remember it being. This definitely belongs on the list.

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Sun Sep 19 2021
5

Really great album. Slightly long but the beats, lyrics, vocals, and hooks are all so good. 9/10

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Sun Sep 19 2021
5

the production and the vibe of this is stellar. great rapping and vocals, and all the performers work really well together. My biggest criticism is that the skits slow down the momentum, and the album didn’t feel super cohesive. 9/10

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Tue Oct 05 2021
5

I've listened to album a bunch over my life. Personally, I wasn't quite sure how to rate it. I was thinking it was maybe a 4, but I've had so much fun and enjoyment out of this album that it is a true classic to me.

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Mon Oct 18 2021
5

Yo-da-lay-heeeee… Impressive production by the Fugees. Plenty of engaging tracks which more than make up for the less gripping ones. I’m not gonna pretend I’ve yet caught or processed even a quarter of the lyrics, but there are some great beats and sweet reggae fusion. Five bags of popcorn.

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Tue Nov 09 2021
5

Lyrics+music+sound is just chefs kiss

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Wed Nov 10 2021
5

After 150+ albums there have been many that I've been familiar with and a handful or so that I've owned but this is the first that I knew every second of, back and forth. I love this album. I really enjoyed and had sentimental ties to the first Fugees album and remember the anticipation for The Score. It exceeded all expectations by miles and for me it is a top ten hip-hop album of the 90s if not all-time. Dynamic production in a variety of styles, intelligent and purposeful lyrics, and great interaction and balance between group members. Everything that Lauryn does on this album is remarkable - vocals and lyrics. While Killing Me Softly does stick out a bit from the rest of the album it is also beautiful in it's simplicity and still adds value to the whole album that already has a classic hit on almost every other track. The in-between songs are also strong without exception and there's no filler. My only criticism would be with the skits but they tie together and preview the upcoming songs along with keeping with the style of groups like ATCQ, De La Soul, etc. The album is a great transition and contrast from the more violent and vulgar hip-hop that was popular in the mid-90s. The sound still holds up today, 25 years later. I've listened through this dozens of times and would every time, any time without hesitation. It's unfortunate that this would be their last album as a group but they nailed it and secured an absolute all-timer.

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Sat Nov 13 2021
5

Was tempted to give this a 1 star review purely to spite them for their tardiness in turning up for gigs. But then it's so, so good. It's in the top 10, maybe top 5, hip hop albums of all time in my very humble opinion. Ms. Hill is criminally underrated as a rapper too. Maybe that's because she's a woman, or maybe it's because she never turns up to her fucking shows on time.

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Sat Nov 13 2021
5

this was my go to album in secondary school when it was the in thing for everyone to listen to rap music. i got the reverend to put it on once on a long car journey and it was at that point that i realised the levels of choice language in it. the outro did not go down well. this is a hell of a lot better than i remember it being.

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Sun Nov 21 2021
5

Great album, nice to listen to in one go

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Thu Dec 23 2021
5

I listened to Blunted on Reality first in preparation and I thought that was such a cool album - 10/10 favorite song was Vocab, what cool instrumentals for an old school hip hop song and now I just finished The Score and I think it’s crazy how they managed to make an even better album than before this is also a banger 10/10 over the tragically short discography of Fugees has some of the best production, verses, and overall execution of any old school rap I’ve ever heard would highly recommend you hear these two great albums i’m gonna try to look for any other stuff they’ve made also a huge plus is that you can hear a woman that can actually rap, and she raps damn good

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Tue Jan 04 2022
5

Incredible hip hop album. Now one of my favorites of all-time.

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Sun Jan 09 2022
5

They stepped up for their 2nd album. Great production, lyrics and flow

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Thu Jan 27 2022
5

Aight this thing doesnt need to tell me to listen to The Score. Absolute classic that has never left my rotation.

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