20 years ago today, the Fugees released one of the most — if not the most — prolific and lyrically profound albums of its time. The New Jersey trio: Pras Michel, Lauryn Hill and Wyclef Jean, released their sophomore album, The Score, featuring samples from artists including Bob Marley & The Wailers, Roberta Flack, A Tribe Called Quest, Afrika Bambaataa, Teena Marie, the list goes on. But this extraordinary body of work was by no means unoriginal in its composition, style or creative direction. The album skyrocketed the Fugees from underrated to hip-hop prodigy.

Here are 20 noteworthy rhymes from The Score that induce a Fugees lyrical trance:

1. “And even after all my logic and my theory
I add a “motherf*cker” so you ignant n*ggas hear me,” Lauryn Hill, “Zealots”

2. “It’s unpredictable, when my tongue performs like Jujitsu
Cut you with my lyrics, stab you with my pencil
Lethal injection, witness protection
Refugee camp’s under investigation
Gunshot bursts in all directions
For the wack MCs we read your revelations,” Pras, “Manifest”


Photo: Giphy

4. “So while you’re imitating Al Capone, I’ll be Nina Simone
and defecating on your microphone,” Lauryn Hill, “Ready or Not”

5. “My inner conscious says throw your handkerchief and surrender
But to who?
The star spangled banner
Say can’t you see cops more crooked than we
By the dawn’s early night robbin’ n*ggas for kis
Easy low key crooked military
Pay taxes out my ass but they still harass me,” Wyclef Jean, “The Beast”

6. “See cops got two faces like two laces on my Reeboks,” Pras, “The Mask”

7. “Nobody’s shooting, my body’s made of hand grenade
Girl bled to death while she was tongue-kissing a razor blade,” Wyclef Jean, “Fu-Gee-La”

8. “I get Inner Visions like Stevie
See me, essential from the chalice like the weed be
Indeed, be like Khalid Muhammad
MCs make me vomit; I get controversial
Freak your style with no rehearsal,” Lauryn Hill, “How Many Mics”

9. “Now that I escape, sleepwalker awake
Those who could relate know the world ain’t cake
Jail bars ain’t golden gates,” Wyclef Jean, “Ready or Not”

10. “I run marathons, like
Buju Banton, I’m a true champion, like
Farakkhan reads his daily Qu’ran
It’s a phenomenon
Lyrics fast like Ramadan,” Pras, “Fu-Gee-La”

 The Score earned the Fugees two Grammy Awards, one of the two being best rap album.

Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

11. “I’m the L, Won’t you pull it
Straight to the head
With the speed of a bullet
Cuttin’ jokers off at the meeky-freeky gullet
Lyrical sedative, keep n*ggas medative
Head rushers I give to creative kids and fiends
Dreams of euphoria
To another galaxy
Be this microphone, but get lifted
Lyrically I’m gifted,” Lauryn Hill, “The Score”

12. “Christ, took a sip of the Amaretto
Passed it down the table said:
“Today I’ll be betrayed by one you 12 Disciples”
Give me a clue who could do this to you?
The kid on the block who makes less money than you
Crooked cops pulled up, they offered him 30 pieces of silver
All he got to do is deliver the savior,” Wyclef Jean, “Manifest”

Do your research on this here artistry. Pure genius.

Photo: Ethan Hein/ Flickr
Photo: Ethan Hein/ Flickr

13. “Too many MC’s not enough mics
Exit your show like I exit the turnpike,” Pras, “How Many Mics”

14. “He’s busted, “so who you checking for now?”
Probably some intellectual
I kept the conversation straight and he kept trying to make it sexual
Then his old lady tried to play me waved her hands up in my face
Yo I told her check your man cause b*tch you acting out of place,” Lauryn Hill, “The Mask”

15. “Thoughts being dribbled like that tall kid Mutumbo
Handled by Hannibal
Soon I’m gonna be a fugitive like Dr. Kimble,” Pras, “The Beast”

16. “Abstract raps simple with a street format
Gaze into the sky and measure planets by parallax
Check out the retrograde motion, kill the notion
Of biting and recycling and calling it your own creation,”  Wyclef Jean, “Zealots”

Photo: Paul Natkin/Wireimage

17. “I seen the biggest n*ggas on the block get murdered and they deserved it
Or so the beast said when they served it, that shit is nervous
So what’s my purpose? Family, we must preserve it,” Lauryn Hill, “Family Business”

18. “You can’t search me without probable cause
Or that proper ammunition they call reasonable suspicion
Listen I bring friction to your whole jurisdiction
You planted seeds in my seat when I wasn’t lookin’
Now you ask me for my license registration,” Wyclef Jean, “The Beast”

19. “Hand-picked lunatics, keep poli-TRICK-cians rich
Heretics push narcotics amidst its risks and frisks
Cool cliques throw bricks but seldom hit targets
Private DIC sell hits, like porno-flicks do chicks
The 666 cut W.I.C. like Newt Gingrich sucks dick,” Lauryn Hill, “The Beast”

20. “Ready or not, refugees taking over
The Buffalo Soldier, dreadlock Rasta
On the twelfth hour, fly by in my bomber
Crews run for cover, now they’re under pushing up flowers,” Pras, “Ready or Not”

But play the album back just one time and you’ll find the true gems hidden in the intros and outros all throughout the album. They’re a call to action, food for thought, and monologues to meditate on for those with a political palate and an eclectic, Afrocentric appetite.

Photo: Giphy