When you’re a kid, before life really hits you in the nuts, there’s a bunch of things that can disappoint you in the small world you’ve created for yourself.
I felt, among other things, disappointment when I realized Biggie wasn’t going to be releasing any more new music.
Each year, when the Spurs or the Yankees or Bucs (everyone’s three favorite teams) would inevitably lose and see their seasons end, I’d feel disappointment.
Those were all upsetting, to varying degrees. But for me, neither compared to when The Fugees broke up.
Biggie and Tupac dying was sad, but I understood death. I mean, as a 9-10 year old I didn’t have a true grasp of what it really meant, but I got it enough to understand the finality of it.
With the sports teams, while each season’s end without a championship was crushing in its own way, you always knew they’d come back and try again next year. There wasn’t going to be a next season without the Yankees or Spurs. Bucs, maybe.
But when The Fugees broke up and stopped making music, not because someone had died or because of some other permanent reason, it really fucked me up. I couldn’t wrap my mind around the concept. If they’re all still alive, why aren’t they making music? The last album was so, so, so great. How could that be it? That can’t just be it. Can it? Fuck.
About 10 years ago, Pras said the following, making it pretty clear where things stood: “Before I work with Lauryn Hill again, you will have a better chance of seeing Osama Bin Laden and [George W.] Bush in Starbucks having a latte, discussing foreign policies, before there will be a Fugees reunion.”
So, I know now not to take any of the multitude of rumors of a return seriously… however, like anything we wish to be true despite the long odds, it’s really hard not to imagine. And in that vein, we have this feeling.
The idea of them reuniting for a new album, to put music out once and for all after this time, would be so damn fun. The music itself might be garbage but, fuck, if it wouldn’t be fun to hear an album filled with Lauryn Hill verses and Wyclef tracks again.
Just like anything else, the fact that it’s been denied of us for so long is what makes it so sweet.
Polar Opposite of this Feeling?: Knowing this will never happen. The Fugees aren’t fucking getting back together, Scott.
When I was a kid, I never put much thought into who appeared on what album. It seemed to be fairly formulaic… Biggie did songs with Puff Daddy and other Bad Boy artists because they were on the same label. Every so often a rapper would get some female artist I hadn’t heard of to sing a hook or something. Even more frequently, a singer will get a rap artists to lay down a verse for them on a song.
I’m not talking about that.
I’m talking about a real collaboration. Here’s an example outside the rap world:
This features probably my favorite modern author (Jonathan Tropper) and definitely my favorite screenwriter/actor (Ed Burns). I should clarify, I’ve read all of Tropper’s books and seen nearly all of Burns’ movies (I think I’ve missed one), but I’ve been a fan of Burnsie longer. So when, in a bit of twitter stalking a while back, I stumbled upon the news that Burns and Tropper actually worked together to make one of the latter’s books (The Book of Joe, my second favorite of his) into a movie, you could imagine my excitement.
Part of the fun of being alive is enjoying the work of people who are better than you are at the things you love. When those people happen to work together and create, that’s a great thing.
The best analogy I can make is this: I don’t know about you, but there’s a part of me that’s happy when two attractive people are together and have kids. I realize, there’s a chance those kids aren’t as talented and good looking as they are… but they’re certainly stacking the deck in their favor and that’s better than I can say.
Polar Opposite of this Feeling? When people talk about collaborating and never ever do (ahem, every rap super group ever discussed). Or talk about getting back together (ahem, Fugees) and never do. Or when they do get together and make Harlem Nights (ahem, Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy).