Follow TV Tropes


Music / The Score

Go To
"Obviously, the two of you are just bitchass niggas, huh!"

The Score is the second and final album by the American hip hop group The Fugees. It was released in 1996 as the Surprisingly Improved Sequel to their poorly received debut album Blunted on Reality, which was even dismissed by themselves because of Executive Meddling. The record also jump-started Alternative Hiphop into the mainstream, producing hits such as "Ready or Not", "Killing Me Softly" and "Fu-Gee-La".


  1. "Red Intro" (feat. DJ Red Alert, Ras Baraka) - 1:51
  2. "How Many Mics" - 4:28
  3. "Ready or Not" - 3:46
  4. "Zealots" - 4:20
  5. "The Beast" - 5:37
  6. "Fu-Gee-La" - 4:20
  7. "Family Business" (feat. Omega, John Forté) - 5:43
  8. "Killing Me Softly" - 4:58
  9. "The Score" (feat. Diamond D) - 5:01
  10. "The Mask" - 4:50
  11. "Cowboys" (feat. Pacewon, Rah Digga, Young Zee, John Forté) - 5:23
  12. "No Woman, No Cry" - 4:32
  13. "Manifest/Outro" - 5:59

It's time to settle the score...

  • Album Intro Track:
    Columbia Rough House Records Presents: A Refugee Camp Production, Fugees, The Score. And now for our feature presentation...
  • Album Title Drop: Throughout the intro.
  • Album Filler: The album has some filler moments after each song, most of it in the form of comedic sketches.
    • "Fu-Gee-La" has a few unnecessary throwaway remixes near the end of the album. These were not included on cassette and vinyl formats.
  • Answer Cut:
    Ay Yo should I slow down?
    No, kid, go faster!
  • As the Good Book Says...: Quite some lyrics refer to it, most notably "Manifest", where Wyclef Jean imagines himself waking up in the presence of Jesus Christ and Haile Selassie. The same song makes references to the Last Supper, Judas' betrayal of Jesus and Gethsemane.
  • Beneath the Mask: "The Mask".
    Yeah, everybody wear the mask, but how long will it last?
  • Bilingual Bonus: One of the remixes of "Fu-Gee-La"has lines sang in Gratuitous French.
    • "Au contraire mon frère" in "How Many Mics" .
    • "With my crew from lakay" in "Ready Or Not" references the Haitian creole word "Lakay" for "home" .
  • Boyfriend Bluff: A small skit before "The Mask" has a guy claiming he fucked a certain woman named Michelle. He specifies it was indeed "Michelle Leslie Brown from 253 street that played ball in the park." The others are amazed, but when Michelle is brought along to confirm this Badass Boast it turns out that she has no idea what he's talking about and is even rather disgusted by the whole idea. The guy tries to bullshit himself out of the situation by saying he actually went to bed with "another Michelle Leslie Brown from 253 street that played ball in the park."
    "Man, she got a cousin or some shit..."
  • Call-Back:
    • "Red Intro" already anticipates many of the topics and lyrical phrases that will be addressed later on the album.
    • "The Score" is a track where quotes from previous songs on the album are sampled and songs that are still to come make their first appearance.
  • Cool People Rebel Against Authority: Subverted in "The Beast"
    Cool cliques throw bricks but seldom hit targets
  • Cover Version: "Killing Me Softly" (a Roberta Flack cover) and "No Woman, No Cry" (a Bob Marley cover).
  • Crapsack World: All of the lyrics address the poor state the world is in.
  • Diner Brawl: In a skit before "Fu-Gee-La" a Chinese restaurant owner starts a fight with two men whom he suspects to be "bitch-ass niggers".
  • Drugs Are Bad: A bit ambiguous. References to marihuana and being high can be found all throughout the album (even subliminally in "No Woman, No Cry" where the refrain "Oo aah" suddenly becomes "Oo aah/ I'm high" ), but the track "Mista Mista" criticizes a poor beggar for asking for money, because he will use it to buy drugs anyway.
  • Evil Laugh: Lauren in "Fu-Gee-La".
  • Excrement Statement: "Ready Or Not"
    While you are imitating Al Capone
    I'll be Nina Simone and defecating on your microphone!
  • Face on the Cover and Face Framed in Shadow: The band on the album cover, shown against a black background.
  • Fading into the Next Song: "Red Intro" —> "How Many Mics" —> "Ready or Not"
  • Fugitive Arc: All throughout the album.
  • Grief Song: "Killing Me Softly", "No Woman, No Cry".
  • The Gunslinger: Comparing gang members with gun-toting cowboys is a theme throughout the entire album, most notably "Cowboys".
    Rappers want to be actors
    So they play the Jesse James Character
    And get they bones fractured.
    You ain't got no guns, you off to the precinct
    Inside tough guys are feminine like Sheena Easton
  • Hurricane of Puns:
    • "How Many Mics"
    But it all stays the same like the love Doctor Strange
    (...)I used to be underrated
    Now I take iron/ makes my shit constipated
    (...) Double do's been like I don't dig Van Dyke
    • "The Beast"
    • "Fugee-La-La"
    I'm twisted/ black-listed like some other negroes" (...) fast like Ramadan
    • "The Mask"
    I used to work at Burger King, a king taking orders
  • Jamaica:
    • There are quite some references to Jamaica, Rastafarianism, marihuana and Reggae on this album. Bob Marley's "No Woman, No Cry" is covered, but this is far from the only Marley reference:
    • "Ready Or Not"
    The Buffalo Soldier, dreadlock rasta! note 
    • "Family Business"
    Iron like a lion from Zion note 
    (...) Now who would think that you're best friend would be your best enemy and your enemy your best friend? note 
    • "The Beast"
    (...) The streets of corruption got me bustin' and cussin' in the concrete jungle note 
    (...) As I chase crazy warheads note 
    • "Cowboys"
    (...) Fuck the sheriff, I shot John Wayne note 
    • Another line from "The Beast"
    And if you are too powerful you get bugged like Peter Tosh and Marley was (...)
    • "Family Business" has the line: "and then I catch my ticket to Jamaica" .
    • "The Score" mentions "rough-necks"
    Rough-neck rednecks make me no bother
    • In "Manifest" the protagonist was "feeling kind of high, it was me, Jesus Christ and Haile Selassie" .
    • Ganja (marihuana) is referenced in "Ready Or Not" (as "sess") and in "How Many Mics".
    Essential like the chalice weed be
    (...)We go, way back like some ganja and pelequo
    • "Zealots" 's line "Another MC loses his life tonight" is a melodical reference to Willie Williams' reggae track "Armageddon Time" .
    • "The Beast":
    On a mountain Satan offered me Manhattan/ help me Jah Jah.
    • "Fu-Gee-La" references Mount Zion, Babylon and "Champion" by Buju Banton.
    • The reggae duo Sly & Robbie made one of the remixes of "Fu-Gee-La" .
  • Large Ham: Wyclef Jean in "Mista, Mista" is Chewing the Scenery beyond the ridiculous.
  • Let's Get Out of Here: The skit before "The Beast" has the band members running away.
  • Loudness War: The skit before "Killing Me Softly" has the sound boy testing the sound, but it's too loud, causing Lauryn to sing: "Killing a sound boy with this sound" .
  • Mistaken for Gay: The Chinese restaurant owner in the sketch before "Fu-Gee-La" assumes his two clients are "bitchass niggers".
  • One-Word Title: "Zealots", "Cowboys".
  • Police Brutality: Addressed in "The Beast" .
    Say can't you see cops more crooked than we
    By the dawn's early night robbin' niggas for kis.
    Easy low key crooked military
    Pay taxes out my ass but they still harrass me.
  • Precision F-Strike: All throughout the album.
    And even after all my logic and my theory
    I add a "motherfucker" so you ignorant niggas hear me
  • Properly Paranoid:
    • "How Many Mics:"
    So at night the fiend's dance on Grease with John Travolta
    One got slaughtered as he coughed blood from his mouth
    The other tried to duck and caught a left with my Guinness Stout
    Brother brother can't you get this through your head
    It's a set up by the fed's they're scoping us with their Infra-reds.
  • Questioning Title?: "How Many Mics?"
  • Sampling: A lot of the tracks have samples in them.
    • "How Many Mics" samples "Twilight Time" by The Moody Blues and "Sunglasses At Night" by Corey Hart.
    • "Zealots" samples "I Only Have Eyes For You" by the doowop group The Flamingos.
    • "Ready Or Not" contains a sample from "Boadicea" by Enya. Since she didn't give them permission she was planning to sue them, but dropped the lawsuit after being reassured that they weren't a Gangsta Rap group.
    • "Fu-Gee-La" samples "Ooo La La La" by Teena Marie and "(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want To Be Right" by Ramsey Lewis.
    • "The Mask" samples "Nights In White Satin" by The Moody Blues.
    • "Cowboys" samples "Something 'bout Love" by The Main Ingredient and "Cowboys To Girls" by The Intruders.
    • "Manifest" samples "Ain't No Half-Steppin'" by Big Daddy Kane and "Rock Dis Funky Joint" by Poor Righteous Teachers.
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: The fight in the skit before "Fu-Gee-La" has rather unconvincing first fights, clearly just vocally imitated by the Chinese restaurant owner.
  • Shout-Out:
    • "Red Intro":
    • "How Many Mics": Lauryn sings:
    It all stays the same like the love Doctor Strange
    I am tame like the rapper (...) Your attempts are futile, oooh child note 
    (...) Go ask Alice if you don't believe me/ I get Innervisions like Stevie
    (...) Indeed be like Khalil Muhammad (...) We go, way back like some ganja and pelequo or Coleco-Vision (...)
    And I'll back this with Deuteronomy or Leviticus, God made this word .
    • "How Many Mics": Clef sings:
    Appetite to write like Frederick Douglass with a slave hand
    (...) One day I'll have a label and make deals with Tommy Motolla
    (...) Now I got a record deal, "How does it feel? note 
    I'm never gonna survive unless I get crazy like Seal
    (...) so at night the fiend's dance on Grease with John Travolta.
    • "How Many Mics": Pras sings:
    Dice and dynamite like Dolemite
    Double deuce delight I don't dig Van Dyke
    Like my man Wyclef (I wear my sunglasses at night
    (...) A clean getaway like Alec Baldwin
    Me and my guitar go back like the days of the RMC's
    C'mon check out my melody
    (...) Time after time, ask Cyndi Lauper
    (...) I'm more magnificent than Lee Van Cleef
    Well did you shoot him? Naw kid, I didn't have the balls
    That's when I realized I'm pumpin' too much Biggie Smalls
    Compared myself to Toni Braxton, though I'd never catch my breath
    (...)I can Capleton when I'm on a tour
  • Sleep-Mode Size:
    • "Ready Or Not":
    Wyclef is in a state of sleep
    Thinking about the robbery that I did last week .
    • "Family Business" also evokes being awake and asleep at the same time in a nightmare:
    But if I fall asleep and Death takes me away
    Don't be surprised, son/ I wasn't put here to stay.
  • Spelling Song: "The Mask"
    M to the A to the S to the K
  • Spoken Word in Music: The interludes between songs are sketches and skits.
  • Stock Sound Effects: Intentional scratchy LP record sounds can be heard between tracks.
  • Take That!:
    • "How Many Mics", a take that towards bad hiphop artists who "sold your soul from some secular muzak that's wack" .
    • "The Beast":
  • A Touch of Class, Ethnicity and Religion: "The Beast":
    High class gets bypassed while my ass gets harrassed
  • Wham Line:
    • "Zealots":
    And even after all my logic and my theory
    I add a "motherfucker" so you ignorant niggas hear me.
    • "The Mask":
    I used to work at Burger King, a king taking orders.
  • World War III: "The Mask"
    I got kidnapped they took me to D.C.
    Have me working underground building missiles for World War III .