Just LOOKING at this cover brings me back to 1996, instantly of course! As we all know, their 1994 "Blunted On Reality" was a completely unfocused album, although it was saved by "Nappy Heads (Remix)" and "Vocab". You can say for sure that they were trying to find themselves, and it showed on that album. So, with all of that being said, let's get to the album that has taken the 12th favorite album of all time slot, "The Score"!!!
Talk about an album that has classics up and down the lineup! Almost every song on this album is a hit in some form, and some of them still receive (deserved) attention to this day. Wyclef's very good production, Lauryn Hill holding it down on the mic in a "hip hop soul" kind of way, and Pras playing the memorable sidekick, this album fires on all cylinders with no filler in sight. I remember watching an episode of "It's Showtime At The Apollo" (remember that show and how GOOD it was back in the day) and they came out the second time to perform. They begun performing "How Many Mics", and towards the end of Lauryn's verse, they stopped, recognized that the crowd wasn't moving, and from there, acapella style, Lauryn started this great impromptu freestyle and the crowd erupted!!!! All I could do was smile and nod my head to everything! See, little things like that is what's missing in today's hip hop world, but that's another story. Check out the video!
Another thing I really like about this album is how it brilliantly and creatively merged the souls of hip hop, R&B, soul, jazz, and reggae, and it was done in such a manner that you can't help but like it. In addition to "How Many Mics", classics like "Ready Or Not", "Fu-Gee-La", and "Killin Me Softly" had a very consistent presence on radio, BET, and MTV in 96, deservedly so. Other favorites of mine include "Family Business", "The Mask", "The Score", and "Cowboys", and much like every other song on this album, I can listen them back to back and never get tired of them at all, and that's one of the makings of a classic album.