Fugees

Blunted on Reality

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    5
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AllMusic Review by

Given the brilliance of The Score and the shortage of Fugees albums in the '90s, many fans probably sought out Blunted on Reality. Those fans no doubt were a little shocked, though, by what they found. Yes, Blunted features Wyclef, Lauryn Hill, and Pras, but it's not quite the same trio that fans of The Score have come to know. Here they offer their take on rap circa 1993. However, rather than use rap as a starting point and depart from there into a myriad of other directions as they did on The Score, they used rap as a starting point and never depart, instead emulating the popular style of the era. In that sense, it comes across as a bit derived and undoubtedly confined by its stifled creative ambitions. If you think back, you'll probably remember 1993 as being the pinnacle of gangsta rap -- Dr. Dre's The Chronic was ubiquitous with not only its reach but also its influence, and Death Row was literally changing the game. If you keep this context in mind, it's a little easier to understand why Blunted on Reality sounds nothing like The Score. It's essentially the Fugees trying to earn respect in an era of gangstas, chronic, bitches, and guns by trying to come across as being hardcore. And, unfortunately, as hard as the Fugees portray themselves here, it can't help but seem a little silly in retrospect. It's an album that is best seen as novelty. Devoted fans may wish to seek it out for curiosity's sake, and that's understandable, but no one should approach this album expecting the prequel to The Score.

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