Thursday, November 18, 2004

Say no to Fugees reunion

Seasons change mad things rearrange
But it all stays the same like the love doctor strange

Fugees - How many Mics

Someone just reminded me that now I'm in the suburbs I'll have to give up hip-hop. God forbid I ever play some reggae or soca. I can already see my neighbors saying "Why does he keep referring to bloody cloths? Just don't understand the significance."or "Obviously he's really into cars because they keep on referring to Bumpers". Actually I've been thinking about going straight country; save that achy breaky heart for billy ray cyrus type ish. Yea right!

Anyway when I was moving (haven't actually settled in yet mind you) I made a few trips up and down the highway ferrying random breakable items, plants, my precious CD collection (if you touch it I break ya neck) etc to the new spot before the bulk of my stuff was moved. What I learned in these trips (in a car with no CD player) is that urban radio here (Flow 93.5) plays the same 10 songs over and over. Its like radio BET up in here. I swore I heard John Legend's single like every single time I got in a car. Mind you its a nice song but still...

Listening to that song though got me thinking about the Fugees a bit. Actually the thought process was more like hmmm John Legend's 'Used to love you' is a nice song, oh wait didn't Common do a song "I used to love H.E.R" about hip hop back in the day, hmmm Hip hop in the 90s; Tribe, Fugees, Gang Starr, Brand Nubian that was nice. Fugees hmmm why'd they break up oh yea heard they are getting back together. What's that all about?

Anyway I'm sure most of you have heard that Lauryn, Pras and Clef finally got back on stage together at this jam that comedian Dave Chappell threw on Labor Day. Well apparently the reunion is official and they are planning on working together to create some new music. My initial response was wow the Fugees are back, Saints be praised! death to the wack mcs (masta ace slaughterhouse), its about time, that's going to be a nice album. Now after some time to think it through I'm like whoa slow ya roll son should they really be attempting a comeback?

Yea for purely nostalgic reasons its hype to think of new Fugee stuff being some amazing, off the hook music but realistically how many rap reunions have actually lived up to the hype? Think about it, Think a-bout it, Think about it. (I'm quoting some Special Ed here for you non-rap folks) I mean lets face it, stay out of the game for too long and you are history, you're ghost,finito, its a (w)rap. This rap game is unforgiving, does not give many second chances and does not encourage comebacks. Its mainly because the core audience are teenagers and young college students. They listen to the music for a couple of years grow up and move on. Sadly I haven't either grown up or moved on but that's another blog. sigh! Anyway because of this phenomena (with the college students, teenagers not with me not growing up) its hard to have any continuity in the rap game so the turnover of artists is crazy. If you can make it past three albums you are lucky.

I mean Think about it, the Score was the joint back in 96 but again think about it, that was 8 almost 9 years ago (It came out Feb 96, I remember buying it during Reading Week and listening to it on a long bus ride to Detroit). The kids listening to rap now think songs like Whoa (2000) by Black Rob are old school, they think Dr Dre's 2001 (1999) is old school, they think Get at Me Dog (1997 or was it 98) by DMX is old school heck they might even be thinking Nelly is old school by now. So by that reasoning the Fugees must be like the great Grand-pappies and Grand-mommies of this biz. Its going to be really tough for them to come back as a group and get the kind of buzz they had before.

As an aside, I know I could turn this blog into my personal tirade against Lauryn Hill and her self-righteous, holier than though act but my spider senses are tingling saying 'don't start none, wont be none' because I know I'd probably get beat down by the quickly gathering mob of down to earth, Jill Scott listening, natural hair, head wrap wearing "conscious" type sistas who think Lauryn is so sinsurrre (sincere) and since I tend to bruise easily please ignore any disparaging comments I make towards L-Boogie who believes that she is Bob's latest reincarnation.

Sigh! That off my chest back to business. Its true that Clef has kept himself in the public eye and Lauryn has done enough onstage crying to be a more than a distance memory but still as a group can they really pull off a comeback? (don't call it a comeback they been here for years?)

Lauryn's fanbase is intact , Pras never had any fans ( I 've got the solo album how sad is that ) and Clef well Clef is Clef, he's going to do his thing regardless.....but they are 8 years older can they pull it off? Eight years in Hip hop is like 25-40 in regular years. The Fugees are no longer relevant to the Chingy crowd. The Fugees cannot pull off a comeback. I just don't see them coming back together and having the same energy, vibe and chemistry as previously. PLUS they have to live under the shadow of the Score. Making a dope, well classic album early in your career always haunts your later efforts. Ask my man Nas if you don't believe me. Any album the Fugees make now will be compared to the Score and unless its better which I truly believe it wont be then any new album just subtracts from their legacy. Its like Jordan playing for the Wizards after an extended break. Unless you can win another title then everyone is going to say you should have just hung up the boots and called it a day instead of coming back to struggle even if you have your odd sparks of former glory every now and then.

So Lauryn stick to your new reincarnation, Clef keep extending the bounds of hip hop with the dope collabos, and oh yea make a decent follow up to Carnival. Pras ummm ammm Pras yo Mickie Dees is always hiring son. Naa I'm just playing Pras...............mickie dees aint hiring. :-)

Guys don't go in the studio together and do this. don't let the record company and the fans pressure you. don't ruin your legacy. Leave it as it stands. Let kids 10 years from now say "yo that Score album was tight, that was the ish, that was a classic" not "Well yea the Score was a classic but that follow up I don't know son, it wasn't all that. I mean I heard dem cats was nice but maybe it was a fluke because those follow up albums just weren't banging"

Come on guys I'm begging you please don't go back in the studio. You cant repeat the magic of the Score. Do it for me guys. Let me have my nostalgic moments untarnished. Let me remember when The Score was the record. When Clef was all like 'I haunt MC's like Mephistopheles, bringin swords of Damocles, Secret service keep a close watch as if my name was Kennedy' and Lauryn was reppin with lines like "behold, as my odes, manifold on your rhymes Two MC's can't occupy the same space at the same time" and Pras yea Pras was all on some "Like my man wyclef I wear my sunglasses at night". Come on guys do like Pras said and make "A clean Getaway like Alec Baldwin Driving in my fast car playing Tracy Chapman"

Put down the microphone ha!
Put down the microphone

baa who listens to me anyways. Do whatever!


The Humanity Critic said...

Excellent blog man, you always come through in the clutch! I have to agree about the whole "Fugees" reunion and you brought up some things that I didn't think about until now. I loved the Fugees when they were out, but you are right that the new batch of hip hop fans probably won't feel them. Also, looking back, it is obvious to me now that Lauryn was carrying most of the lyrical workload back then. Clef is alright with me, and Pras is the equivalent to a lyrical cancer. Saying all that, it will be interesting to see what happens. (sorry about the length of my post..)

Jdid said...

"The magazine says the girl should have gone solo
The guys should stop rappin - vanish like Menudo"

Angry Dog said...

JDid, I'm sort of interested in seeing the Fugees reunion, you know the same type of interest that one has when watching a train wreck on TV? Anyhow, I definately feel you, though I hope your instincts are wrong and they'll actually come up with something pretty good...funny, isn't it--the 90's we had the Fugees, now we have the Black Eyed Peas [who for some reason I keep hearing too many people likening their interaction to the magic that made the Fugees great]. Oh well, we see what we want to see.


nahmix said...

Now I do believe when I posted the Fugees reunion update a couple of weeks ago on my blog...I dissed Clef and if I remember correctly you commented something like..."you gotta look at Clef more as a musician." So, I'm gonna tell you that same thing, but also consider Lauryn's lyrical skills and musicianship as well. In thinking about still mean to tell me that you don't think the Fugees have hot shit potential yet again?

Come on killing a sistah! They have all grown tremendously and have great potential for a new wave of energy. I mean, if nothing else, look what they have to contend with...Sap Rap...Ja Rule & Chingy, Crunk...Lil John & Juvenile, Wanksta Gansta...The G-Unit and Mr. Winner by Default..Kanye West. Jdid...hip hop is crying out for some new shit in the worst and I believe the Fugees are just the group to revive hip hop.

Contrary to your theory that an artist who creates that classic album early in their career can never recover...I beg to differ. I will say that there aren't many artists who will be legends for numerous classic albums, but some do exist in my opinion...A Tribe Called Quest for instance. The Low End Theory and Midnight Marauders are two of the best hip hop albums ever, The Roots Do You Want More and Things Fall Apart, Common Ressurection and Like Water for Chocolate.

To paraphrase Spike Lee's acceptance at NAACP image awards a few years ago, "it isn't about a single a song or album or book or movie, but about the body of work." Hip Hop isn't about the succession of classic album after classic album, but about the body of albums that are the music that make the culture.

Just my humble opinion!

Jdid said...

nahmix I hear you loud and clear. Rap is in a terrible state so yes if the Fugees could bring quality product it would be great. I agree on your body of work point and yes artists can create classic albums early on and continue to put out a great body of work but like I was stressing its been 8 years. Midnight Mauraders and Low End Theory were like what maybe two years apart and that was a group that was together. Can Tribe comeback now and recreate those glory days after a 5 year break up? Probably not. Same thing with the Fugees 8 years apart things do change. Everyone is going to expect them to sound like they did on The Score, thats not going to happen. We dont even know if they have any chemistry left.

Yes it'll be interesting watching what they output but will it be good?

Anonymous said...

Should be interesting to see the reaction of the neighbours when you buss some Beenie Man on a weekend JDid! ;-)

As for the rest of this post...I obviously outta it. Not qualified to comment! Dr. D.

Mad Bull said...

"Pras ummm ammm Pras yo Mickie Dees is always hiring son. Naa I'm just playing Pras...............mickie dees aint hiring."

LOL< LOL, LOL!!! :-)