January 21, 2010

The Fugees//The Mask

As I'm sure you know, last week Haiti had one hell of an earthquake and shit is seriously fucked up there right now. In the wake of that disaster, I wanted to remind everyone to donate to relief efforts via text (or other means) and that the man making this all possible is none other than WYCLEF, member of one of my favorite '90s NJ (W.O.!) hip hop outfits, The Fugees.

On a lighter note, when this album came out, I was in 7th grade, and The Fugees BLEW UP. They were on the radio, on MTV. I went to a house party in London and the English kids were even playing them there. The Score is one of the jammiest albums, with some of the best rhymes. Hits like "Ready or Not," "How Many Mics?" and "Fu-gee-la" are completely bumpin', but I find that this song, about the mask that everyone is sometimes forced to hide behind, is consistently my favorite.

Once, some friends and I were listening to it and decided that someone should start a reality TV show based on one of the song's lyrics, "How would you like a quarter raise? Step up to the register?" The show, which would obviously be called "Quarter Raise," would revolve around a diverse cast of characters from around the country. It's too complicated to explain the rest, so I'm just gonna stop.

Also, another friend and I have had many conversations about Wyclef's frequent use of the term, "Haitian Sicilians." Usually, they start with the question, "dude, Wyclef, what ARE Haitian Sicilians?" The best guess I have is that it's a slangy way to refer to Haitian organized crime. If you know for sure, I would love it if you told me.

Back to the heavy stuff, I've heard both Pras (who made some pretty controversial statements about benevolent dictators on NPR) and Wyclef raising a lot of consciousness about Haiti (pre- and post- quake) and I think it's so awesome that they have always represented so hardcore.

Apparently The Fugees all kind of hate each other now, so don't hold your breath for a reunion...but please do enjoy this jam and give Haiti a hand.

The Mask.mp3

"How would you like a quarter raise? Move up the register?
Large in charge, but ya gotta be a spy,
Come back and tell me who's baggin my fries,
Getting high on company time."
Hell no sirree, wrong M.C.
Why should I be a spy, when you spying me,
And you see what ya thought ya saw but never seen.
Ya missed ya last move,
Checkmate! Crown me king!
Hold my 22, pistol whipped him in the face.
Hired, now I'm fired,
Sold bud, now I'm wired,
Eyes pitch red, but the beat bop my head.
Hit the streets for relief, I bumped into the Feds.
I got kidnapped, they took me to D.C.,
Had me working underground building missiles for World War III.

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