Fugees
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
Blunted on Reality (1993), 5/10
The Score (1996), 7/10
Wyclef Jean: The Carnival (1997), 7/10
Wyclef Jean: The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book (2000), 6/10
Wyclef Jean: Masquerade (2002), 6/10
Wyclef Jean: Carnival II - Memoirs Of An Immigrant (2007), 6/10
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The Fugees, a trio from New Jersey (female rapper and singer Lauryn Hill, Prakazrel "Pras" Michel, Haitian-born male rapper Wyclef "Clef" Jean) were one of the most significant hip-hop acts of the 1990s. They debuted with a mediocre album, Blunted on Reality (1993), that was still derivative of gangsta-rap (despite the intuitions of Vocab and Temple), but The Score (1996) fused hip-hop with jazz, rhythm'n'blues and reggae at a deeper level (although it mainly "scored" thanks to two commercial covers). Unlike so many rappers who were independent intellectuals pretending to be crowd-pleasers, the Fugees were fundamentally crowd-pleasers who pretended to be independent intellectuals. Family Business singlehandedly established Hill as a major (female) figure in rap music.

Lauryn Hill went on to a distinguished solo career.

Wyclef Jean's solo career was basically a continuation of the pan-ethnic and pan-stylistic aesthetics of the Fugees, although wed to a utopian philosophy of universal love. The Carnival (1997) was a virtual tour of the black world, from Cuba to New Orleans to Jamaica to Africa, besides boasting eccentric arrangements (the orchestral Gone Till November); but, again, it relied on cute covers to sell the concept to the masses. The Ecleftic - 2 Sides II a Book (2000) and Masquerade (2002) extended his fusion project to country, folk and pop music. Carnival II - Memoirs Of An Immigrant (2007) is a case of split personality, with Sweetest Girl and Heaven's in New York and especially Fast Car (a duet with singer-songwriter Paul Simon) aiming for simple universal emotions, while Hollywood Meets Bollywood, a collaboration with Indian composer Aadesh Shrivastava, and the lengthy Touch Your Button Carnival Jam reveal austere ambitions of glory.

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(Copyright © 2003 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
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