The Fugees Return with Brand-New Single, 'Take It Easy'

Hip-Hop Supergroup's First New Music in Nearly a Decade Provides First Taste of Eagerly-Awaited Successor to 1996's Multi-Platinum Bestselling 'The Score'


The Fugees -- Lauryn, Wyclef and Pras -- have emerged from a New York studio with a brand-new single for the legions of fans clamoring for a follow-up to 1996's "The Score," the biggest-selling hip-hop album of all time.

"Take It Easy," the first new Fugees music in nearly a decade, provides a sweet taste of the group's upcoming album, slated for release in early 2006.

"I ain't rhymed in minute, but y'all ain't catch up, and that ain't blood on your shirt, that's ketchup!," raps Wyclef on "Take It Easy."

Or, as Pras puts it, "Back with the Fugees, fo' fighting for a few billions."

"Yup," sings Lauryn Hill on "Take It Easy," "it's Fugees entirely!"

The roots of the Fugees were formed in the early 1990s when high school classmates Lauryn Hill and Prakazrel Michel began working together in a hip-hop ensemble called the "Tranzlator Crew." Joined by Pras' cousin Wyclef Jean, the trio signed to Ruffhouse/Columbia Records in 1993 and began performing under the name "Fugees," a slang term applied to Haitian refugees. The Fugees' debut album, "Blunted On Reality," foreshadowed a new direction in hip-hop, but it was 1996's "The Score," a pioneering blend of hip-hop, jazz, pop, R&B, soul, reggae, and rap, that moved the group into the stratosphere.

"The Score" became the best-selling album of 1996, taking home two Grammy Awards: Best Rap Album and Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal (for "Killing Me Softly With His Song"). Certified 6x platinum by the RIAA, "The Score" has sold more than 13,600,000 copies worldwide.

Following the massive international success of "The Score," the Fugees went on hiatus with the group's individual members -- Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean, and Pras -- each pursuing solo careers.

Lauryn's 1998 debut solo album, "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill," earned the artist five Grammy Awards including Album of the Year, and has been certified 8x platinum by the RIAA.

Wyclef Jean, the first of the Fugees to embark on a solo career, racked up seven RIAA gold and platinum certifications for his solo albums -- 1997's "The Carnival" (gold, 2x platinum) and "The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II A Book" (gold, platinum) -- and 1998's smash single "Gone Till November" (gold, platinum). Wyclef has been Grammy-winning producer and songwriter (Santana, Whitney Houston, Destiny's Child) and is an outspoken social activist and force behind numerous benefit concerts including aid for his native Haiti.

Prakazrel Michel ("Pras") had a #1 R&B hit with his 1998 single, "Ghetto Supastar (That Is What You Are)," from the soundtrack of Warren Beatty's "Bulworth." Turning his attention to film, Pras played a villain in the 1999 Ben Stiller superhero send-up, "Mystery Men," and starred as a struggling drug-running rap musician in "Turn It Up," a film based on Pras' own "Ghetto Supastar" sagas.

The Fugees gave the first intimation of a full-fledged reunion when the group made a surprise appearance at a Brooklyn block party thrown by comedian Dave Chappelle in September 2004. Earlier this year, Lauryn, Wyclef and Pras took audience members, and television viewers, by surprise when the legendary hip-hop supergroup appeared on-stage at Hollywood's Kodak Theatre as the unannounced opening act for the 2005 BET Awards ceremony.

SOURCE: Sony Urban Music/Columbia Records

CONTACT: Yvette Noel-Schure of Sony Urban Music, New York,
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