|Wyclef Jean||Nelust Wyclef Jean||October 17th, 1972 Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti|
|Pras||Prakazrel Samuel Michel||October 19th, 1972 Haiti|
|Lauryn Hill||Lauryn Noel Hill||May 25th, 1975 South Orange, New Jersey|
Also known as: Tranzlator Crew / Refugee Camp
Label(s): Ruffhouse/Columbia Records
The Fugees were a critically-acclaimed New Jersey hip hop group that rose to fame in the mid-1990s, whose repertoire included elements of soul and Caribbean music, particularly reggae. The members of the group are rapper/singer/producer Wyclef Jean, rapper/singer Lauryn Hill, and rapper Pras Michel. Deriving their name from the term "refugee", Jean and Michel are Haitian Americans, while Hill is African American. The group recorded two albums — one of which, The Score (1996), was a multi-platinum and Grammy-winning success — before disbanding in 1997. Hill and Jean each went on to successful solo recording careers; Michel focused on soundtrack recordings and acting, though he found commercial success with his song "Ghetto Supastar".
The trio released their first LP, Blunted on Reality, in 1994. The album spawned two underground hits, "Nappy Heads (Mona Lisa)" and "Vocab", but failed to live up to the reputation of the group's live shows and gained little mainstream attention.
The Score became one of the biggest hits of 1996 and one of the best-selling hip hop albums of all time. The Fugees gained attention for their cover versions of old favourites, with the group's reinterpretations of "No Woman No Cry" by Bob Marley & the Wailers and "Killing Me Softly with His Song" by Roberta Flack, the latter being their biggest pop hit. The album also included a re-interpretation of The Delfonics' "Ready or Not Here I Come (Can't Hide From Love)" in their hit single, "Ready or Not", which featured a prominent sample of Enya's Boadicea without the singer's permission. This prompted a lawsuit resulting in a settlement where Enya was given credit and royalties for her sample. The Fugees have continuously thanked and praised Enya for her deep understanding of the situation, for example in the liner notes for The Score. The Fugees won two 1997 Grammy Awards with The Score (Best Rap Album) and "Killing Me Softly" (Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group).
In 1997, the Fugees all began solo projects: Hill started work on her critically acclaimed The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill; Jean began producing for a number of artists (including Canibus, Destiny's Child and Carlos Santana) and recorded his debut album The Carnival; Michel, with Mya and Ol' Dirty Bastard, recorded the single "Ghetto Supastar" for the soundtrack to the Warren Beatty/Halle Berry film Bulworth.
Refugee Camp, while a name sometimes credited to the trio, also refers to a number of artists affiliated with them, and particularly Jean. John Forté was an early member, rapping and drum programming on two of The Score's tracks, and is currently serving a 14-year prison sentence for cocaine trafficking. On November 25th, 2008 John Forte was given a Presidential Pardon and is due for release soon.