Album: The Score

The Fugees’ “Killing Me Softly” was the trio’s first and most popular single from The Score, but it wasn’t until “Ready Or Not” that the full scope of their talents was really put on display. The song includes rapped verses from all three members, plus an unforgettable chorus lifted from The Delfonics’ “Ready Or Not Here I Come” and delivered soulfully by Lauryn Hill. It also features the best Enya sample (from “Boadicea”) of all time. Like much of the East Coast hip-hop from the ‘90s, “Ready or Not” was rough around the edges, informed by the harsh realities of life in the ghetto. But instead of relying on fictitious tough talk, the song harnessed that energy for positive, referencing the strength of Bob Marley, Muhammad Ali, and Haitian refugees passing through Guantanamo Bay. “So while you're imitating Al Capone,” Ms. Hill raps with supreme confidence on verse two, “I’ll be Nina Simone, and defecating on your microphone.” —Jacob Moore