Tim Tan Huynh

The Fugees – “Killing Me Softly”

1 Jun 2016 — Twenty years later, the sights and sounds are still great.

“Killing Me Softly” by The Fugees is on The Soundtrack of My Life, Spring 1996 Edition. I’d watch the music video early on weekday mornings, then I’d walk with my friend to the high school that we’d be attending in the fall, then we’d play basketball scrimmages with kids from other schools, and finally my friend and I would walk home before going to our elementary school. Watching this video triggers those memories.

The song is the eighth track on The Score. The album was released on 13 February in 1996, and the single was released exactly 20 years and one day ago. The song is a cover of a 1973 song Roberta Flack. Both versions are hits of their day, but the latter is better known. The drum beat, bass line, and recognizable sample (from “Bonita Applebum” by A Tribe Called Quest) are distinctly hip-hop, and the vocals of Lauryn Hill rightly dominate the song.

The video is the reason that I know the song. Lauryn Hill is beautiful and her afro is awesome. I like the concept, including how the album cover appears as a movie poster like The Godfather poster that’s inspired it. I remember the video getting Pop-Up Video treatment and some of the trivia from the pop-ups. Specifically, the epilogue is inspired by the movie Cooley High, which I’ve been trying to find for years.