Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Review: The Fugees Reunite for a Jubilant 25th Anniversary with Lauryn Hill as Opening Act

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If you’re in Washington DC tonight or Philadelphia this week, you’re in for a treat. The Fugees, with Wyclef Jean, Pras Michel, and Lauryn Hill are back. It’s their 25th anniversary tour.

On Thursday they played the second of two shows in the New York area, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Hill opens the show, then joins the Fugees for the main part of the show.

Hill plays the entirety of her one real studio album, the seminal “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,” which remains a template for female hip hop. The more you listen to her, and view the production, it becomes clear that Hill missed a big opportunity either releasing more records of her own or reuniting with Wyclef and Pras. What could have been! Still, cuts a strong figure on stage even if she can’t seem to make a start time.

The Fugees’ original album, “The Score,” started it all back in 1996, and that part of the show is worth waiting for. The group revived the Roberta Flack record, “Killing Me Softly,” back in 1996. Wyclef Jean later became one of our top songwriters with songs like “Ready or Not” and “The Mask.” This show just highlights those two albums, although Wyclef would do well to perform some of his other hits from later on like “911” or “Gone till November.” He has a long list of them, in fact. But that’s for another night.

Meanwhile, it’s refreshing to hear hip hop from its truly innovative days by the real masters. Their musicianship is non-pareil, and original. They still sound fresh as the day they started.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
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