5 Reasons Why I Desperately Want A Biopic About The Fugees

Lauryn Hill in the video for "Killing Me Softly"
(Image credit: Ruffhouse)

Happy Haitian Heritage Month! Though I’m not Haitian myself, if there’s any group that instantly comes to my mind when I think about Haiti, it’s The Fugees. 

I remember watching The Fugees in Haiti on MTV, as Wyclef Jean was born in Haiti, Pras is Haitian-American, and they considered Lauryn Hill to be Haitian by association. And, let me tell you, if you were a ‘90s kid like myself, then you definitely have at least some feelings for The Fugees since they were MASSIVE back then. I’m talking absolutely seismic. 

As a collective, they only had two albums–1994’s Blunted on Reality, and their megahit, 1996’s The Score. That said, even with only two albums under their belts, they’re still one of the biggest hip-hop groups of all time. I’ve already discussed how I’m excited for the upcoming Michael Jackson biopic, and now, I’m (desperately) wishing into existence The Fugees biopic. Because come on now, who doesn’t want to hear “Fu-Gee-La” on the big screen?  

The Fugees in the video for "Fu-Gee-La"

(Image credit: Ruffhouse)

I, And Many Fans, Would Love To See How Wyclef, Pras, And Lauryn Hill First Connected In New Jersey 

Do a little research, and you’ll learn that Lauryn Hill and Pras met up in New Jersey (Woot Woot. New Jersey! That’s where all the best heroes come from)

Pras’ cousin, Wyclef, soon joined, and they then became the Tranzlator Crew, only to change their name to Fugees, which was short for Refugees. 

So, yeah. That’s a brief overview. But, I don’t want just a brief overview. I want to see what it was like when Prakazrel (A.K.A. Pras) first met Lauryn Hill. How did they discover each other’s talent? Was it by accident? I also want to know what it was like when Wyclef came on board. Was it a match made in Heaven, or was there some tension about who would be their lead member of the group?

These are all aspects that I’d love to see play out in a biopic, as I think it would be cool to see the group form from just being friends from New Jersey to being megastars. 

The Fugees on the cover of their single "Nappy Heads"

(Image credit: Ruffhouse)

It Would Be Cool To See Them Prior To Their Breakout Hit The Score 

As I mentioned in the intro, The Score was a MONSTER hit. It won two Grammy Awards (one for Best Rap Album, and the other for the single, “Killing Me Softly,”), and has since gone seven times platinum. I mean, it was HUGE. Utterly massive.  

Because if there were three albums that I feel everybody had in the ‘90s, it was probably Jagged Little Pill, Tragic Kingdom, and The Score. Kids today likely don’t even know how big The Fugees were. That said, Fugees did have an album before The Score, which was called Blunted on Reality

Now, like most people, I didn’t even know about Blunted on Reality until much later. Despite The Score being a massive success, their debut album didn’t even retroactively go platinum, and I always love seeing stories about famous bands struggling before they hit it big. 

Like, do you remember the Jersey Boys movie? While I didn’t love the adaptation, I did enjoy seeing the Four Seasons struggling to get recognition early on, and I’d love to see something similar in a prospective Fugees movie. 

For example, what was it like in the studio when they were recording The Score after seeing the low sales of Blunted on Reality? Did they just know that The Score was going to be a hit, or were they still struggling to find the sound that would eventually make them worldwide stars? That’s the movie that I want to see!  

The Fugees on the cover of The Score

(Image credit: Ruffhouse)

It Could Also Encapsulate The '90s, When The Group Was At Its Zenith  

I love everything about the ‘90s, since that was my childhood. For me, the ‘90s had the best movies, the best fashion, and definitely the best music, and The Fugees were a major part of that. So, what I really want to see is a movie that does a good job of replicating that time period. 

For example, I’d love to see the baggy clothes, or the groups making music videos on MTV (Remember when MTV still played music videos?). I’d also love to see all of the skateboarding, and the masses really digging into hip-hop culture. 

In truth, I just want to see the ‘90s represented again, and The Fugees were one of the biggest groups of the ‘90s. So, in actuality, I'd really just like to relive my childhood again for about an hour and a half in a cool movie theater to some amazing music. Is that really too much to ask? 

The album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

(Image credit: Ruffhouse)

It Would Also Be Interesting To See Their Eventual Split, And Lauryn's Massive Solo Album 

Do you want to know what albums I love? 1997’s Wyclef Jean Presents The Carnival, 2000’s The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book (Also by Wyclef), 1998’s Ghetto Superstar by Pras, and of course, the Grammy Award winning-The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. All of these albums really come at the end of the Fugees’ lifespan as a group, and this is where a lot of the drama of the movie could come into play. 

Because, as many people already know, Fugees broke up because of tension within the group, mostly circling around the affair Wyclef and Lauryn Hill were having -- per Hip Hop Hero (which quotes Wyclef Jean from his autobiography, Purpose -- and the birth of her child with Rohan Marley. And, this sounds like an interesting story. The Fugees were really on top of the world following The Score, and a third album was definitely anticipated. I know this, because I anticipated it. 

But then, like The Beatles, we got some solo albums, and it wasn’t until The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill that a lot of fans learned that the group had disintegrated, and we likely weren’t going to ever get anymore albums from The Fugees. Still, I’d love to see that period of unease amongst the group. 

Sure, it probably wouldn’t be as interesting as John Lennon bringing Yoko Ono into the studio during the Let It Be sessions, but it could be illuminating to fans of The Fugees who likely only know a tiny part of the story.  

The cover for The Fugees single, "Ready or Not"

(Image credit: Ruffhouse)

If Anything, It Could Introduce A Whole New Generation To The Fugees 

Not too long ago, I wrote about 7 Black figures who are long overdue for a biopic, but I didn’t include The Fugees on there. And that’s because, well, while it would be super hard to find somebody to play Beyonce, or Oprah, I think it would be almost impossible for anybody to fill Ms. Lauryn Hill’s shoes. And that’s because she was truly the total package. A poet, a singer, a rapper, just everything. 

However, even if they couldn’t pick the perfect stand-in for Lauryn Hill (Or even Wyclef Jean for that matter), I still think that a biopic would be good since it would introduce a whole new generation to Fugees, just like a movie such as Get on Up, or Straight Outta Compton introduced a new generation to James Brown, and N.W.A., respectively. 

If anything, a biopic of The Fugees would send the group’s music soaring to the top of the charts, as their songs are so amazing, they’d have to blow up again. It would just be inevitable. 

But, what do you think? Would you also love to see a biopic based on The Fugees? Because I know I can’t be the only one. 

Rich Knight
Content Producer

Rich is a Jersey boy, through and through. He graduated from Rutgers University (Go, R.U.!), and thinks the Garden State is the best state in the country. That said, he’ll take Chicago Deep Dish pizza over a New York slice any day of the week. Don’t hate. When he’s not watching his two kids, he’s usually working on a novel, watching vintage movies, or reading some obscure book.