JAY-Z’s 4:44 is a strong album of the year candidate and obviously the stirring, No I.D.-produced soundscapes have enthralled millions. I.D. reached back and sampled greats such as Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone and, on “Moonlight,” the hip-hop classic “Fu-Gee-La.” Fugees member Pras says Hov’s whole album is dope and that he appreciates Jigga using his group’s music.
“I like that new Jay joint that came out,” Pras said recently in REVOLT’s New York studios. “That’s hard. This is the thing with hip-hop. You have one side of it and [JAY] comes with that grown man boom-bap. He’s just spittin.’ Directly in your face. Just naked. He’s just raw.”
Pras heard “Moonlight” before 4:44 was released, but not too far in advance.
“I just cleared it,” the Brooklyn native revealed. “I just cleared my portion of it two weeks ago. I went to hear the record before it came out in California. It was hot, so I signed off on it.”
The Score is 21 years old and obviously still resonating. Just last year, DJ Khaled sampled “Fu-Gee-La” for “Nas Album Done.”
“It’s just a blessing,” Pras testified. “At that time [that The Score was released], we created this product. We were speaking our truth. When we first came out, they were saying, ‘Send them Haitian kids back to Haiti.’ I’m not even from Haiti. Why I gotta go back to Haiti? If anything, I can go back to Brooklyn. But we said, ‘We’re going to put our truth, our soul, our blood into this.’ And it came out the way it came out.”
“When I got the call Jay was sampling, I was like, ‘Hmmm. Let me see what that is.’ I wanted to make sure it was right,” he added. “He was like, ‘Listen, I’m not gonna misrepresent y’all crew.’ He let me listen to it. Shit was hot. I listened to it twice. That shit was hard. It feels good. That’s all you want. When you create something, you want people to take something out of it. You want people to enjoy it, not just for the moment, but to be generation to generation.”
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