IS WYCLEF KILLING THE FUGEES SOFTLY?

The founder member's solo track 'Fugee This, Fugee That' seems to indicate there will be no more records from the million-selling band...

Fugees‘ founder Wyclef Jean has released a new song that hints the band may finally have broken up.

‘Fugee This, Fugee That’, the b-side of Clef‘s new US single, ‘Thug Angels’, addresses the Fugees‘ lengthy hiatus – their last record together was the multi-million selling ‘The Score’ in 1996. And for fans of the band it doesn’t sound like good news. Lauryn, if you’re listening/Pras, if you’re listening,” Clef pleads in the chorus, [I]”Give me a call/ I’m in the lab, in the Booga Basement/ [Wyclef‘s New Jersey studio, where the Fugees usually record]… It ain’t all about the money”.

Elsewhere in the track Wyclef talks about his frustration that his solo work has been overlooked by people – fans and record company associates alike – who are only interested in hearing new Fugees material. Promo CDs of tracks from Clef‘s second solo LP, ‘Ecleftic’, are circulating in the industry at present, and include an interlude called ‘Tommy’s Office’. In the track Wyclef telephones Sony Music boss Tommy Mottola to inform him that he’s finished his new album, only for Mottola to angrily hang up on him, telling him not to call back until he’s finished another Fugees album.

Although they toured in 1997, playing a massive benefit gig in Wyclef‘s native Haiti, the Fugees have long been rumoured to have split, although the three members have all insisted they plan to work together again. In a 1998 press conference coinciding with her first solo European date, Lauryn Hill said that she hoped that a new Fugees album would be made before she began work on a follow-up to her solo album, ‘The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill’. And Wyclef repeatedly told various American websites in 1999 that his next project would be a new Fugees album.

Meanwhile, ‘Fugee This, Fugee That’ also finds Wyclef apparently commenting on his split with Canibus, the New York rapper he managed at one point.

Wyclef was also Executive Producer of Canibus‘ debut album, ‘Can-I-Bus’. On the title track of his forthcoming second album, ‘2000 BC’, Canibus savages his former mentor, claiming that ‘Can-I-Bus’ was ruined by Wyclef‘s production. “The last album, I can’t call it,” he raps, “Muthaf—in’ Wyclef spoiled it”. ‘Can-I-Bus’ was widely seen as a disappointment after Canibus had made a string of acclaimed singles and guest appearances.

Clef responds to Canibus‘ dis on ‘Fugee This, Fugee That’, although he stops short of calling him by name. “You know who you are/eight-bar superstar,” he taunts, referring to Canibus‘ numerous short guest appearances on other people’s records. “Stop lying to the public”, he chides later in the track: “you wanted it so bad you took all the production credit”.

Meanwhile Lauryn Hill is due to appear in Court on June 21 to defend her Grammy-winning debut solo album ‘The Miseducation Of…’.

A group of musicians called New Ark claim that their songs and production skills were used on the album, but that they were not properly credited. Hill contests that she wrote and produced the entire album while crediting them in the inner sleeve notes for “additional production, musical contribution and additional lyrical contribution”. The case has been ongoing for 18 months.