The annual Roots Picnic in Philadelphia offered up a big surprise on Saturday, when Ms. Lauryn Hill was joined for an impromptu Fugees reunion by group members Wyclef Jean and Pras Michel, backed by the Roots themselves.
Performing in celebration of the 25th anniversary of her landmark solo debut, The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill, the artist told the crowd before introducing Jean and Michel, “my brothers, my brothers, these are my brothers.” The trio played six songs, including the hits “Ready or Not,” “Killing Me Softly,” and “Fu-Gee-La.”
The Fugees had not been on stage since a 2021 gig at New York’s Rooftop at Pier 17, which was meant to launch a reunion tour later that year in support of the 25th anniversary of their beloved album The Score. The 12-date run was initially postponed and then eventually canceled in early 2022.
However, the Roots Picnic performance could be the last for the Fugees for the foreseeable future. In April, Michel was found guilty of 10 counts of conspiracy, witness tampering, and acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign government (China). The charges stemmed from his role in a $100 million scheme to influence American politics, as SPIN previously reported. Michel was originally charged in 2019 and faces up to 20 years in prison when sentenced this summer.
The 2023 edition of the Roots Picnic also featured performances from Lil Uzi Vert, Busta Rhymes, a reunion of Philadelphia hip-hop collective State Property, Roots member Black Thought’s Live Mixtape set with Eve, and the “Soulquarians Icons sets” with the Isley Brothers and Roy Ayers, among others.
I really witnessed the Fugees reunion live……. This Lauryn Hill show was AMAZING pic.twitter.com/rrImwP5FeW
— Camille? (@djcamic) June 4, 2023
The Fugees have not performed in almost three decades bro… THIS IS HISTORY RIGHT HEREEE pic.twitter.com/9K7ep2xzBD
— efg. (@jellzman) June 4, 2023