Let’s rewind to 1996. This was a big year in hip hop, with megastars like 2Pac and Notorious B.I.G. flooding the rap game and involving the world in their massive feud, casting a menacing shadow over the entire genre. Then out of the murky ambiguity that was hip hop at the time, The Score by Fugees was released. With supermassive hits like “Killing Me Softly” and “No Woman, No Cry,” there was no doubt this album would sail high above the rest at that time.
Featuring an Enya sample that is re-used and cued perfectly to Lauryn Hill’s melodic, chill-inducing vocals and voilà, “Ready or Not” is born. The staid choruslines reach your eardrums and resonate with your heart. It goes without saying that this track depicts Hill’s maliciously authentic prowess, which in part allowed her to make a name for herself in a male-dominated industry and in most instances its safe to say surpasses her male counterparts lyrically.
To me, The Score is one record that so eloquently depicts feelings buried deep within, and I would by lying if I said that I didn’t frequently turn to this track whenever I needed some strong female empowerment.