Group Dynamics With Fugees As The Subject

group dynamics with fugees as the subject

Group Dynamics: I happened into this video, of a live performance in Germany from The Fugees.  This comes from 1996, which was a great year in hip hop! There is also a quick appearance by Nas, as he and Lauren Hill performed their hit, Imagine that (If I Ruled The World).  A truth stood out to me – one that I’ve held for quite some time now.

We put up with Wyclef, because we wanted to hear what Lauren had to say. Far and above, Lauren Hill was THE talent of the Fugees. Praz was always just that ‘extra person’ in the group to me.  Wyclef, seemingly wanted to be the leader of the group and in so many ways, Lauren ‘allowed’ him to fill that role. However, the pure raw talent of L-boogie was simply unmatched. Even while playing the background she continued to stand out!

Peep the Group Dynamics of this live performance – Wyclef ‘starts’ it out, but the crowd comes alive when Lauren hits the stage.

A major ongoing ‘theme’ when it comes to groups, is this. Groups never stay together. Whether we are talking about more recent groups, like Destiny’s Child, B2K (regardless of our thoughts about them …), or going back further to New Edition, or before that, The Temptations.  So many groups seem to break up, and whatever magic they had as a group does not always translate to the solo acts.  When these groups break up, there is always the ‘lie’ pushed that people are just doing their own thing, but they’ll get back together again.

That almost never happens.  In some cases, the solo members do go on to greatness, as is the case with Beyonce.  Bobby Brown did okay for a while too.  I’m not a huge ‘fan’ of Omarion but, he clearly was the ‘talent’ of that group, and did well for himself too.  This is the case with Group Dynamics – its what makes record companies seek to pull groups apart. Record companies realize they can pay fewer people if they manage to get that ONE talent to go solo.

Ironically I was watching the James Brown movie, with Chadwick Boseman the other week.  The same issue came up there, and likely this happened with Fugees too. The film re-enacted this scene; James Brown and the Furious Flames (click that link for the original)

I’ve heard the stories of how there was a love triangle, and I am sure that drama also helped break the Fugees up.  Ultimately however, I’d pin the break up on ‘jealousy’ that sadly pops up in these groups far too often. The less talented members of the group, come to resent the talent.  Usually there are manipulators behind the scenes, who make the less talented members ‘feel’ like they should get as much shine – fueling the break ups we see so often.

It’s always sad when that happens; I share this because I see it happen beyond ‘music’ as well. Teams in sports, and even partnerships in business end, over jealousy.  Everybody wants to shine, even when they are not the ‘star’.  Lauren, was a natural star – a bright shining beaming light of energy. Her debut solo album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, is still one of the best albums ever released.

Lauren, to me, has always been one of THE BEST female lyricist of all time.  I’ve even put her in discussions as one of the greats, regardless of gender. Her ability to harmonize, while shedding beautiful bars has always been unparalleled.  It’s too bad, honestly, that whatever ‘fire’ she had in 96, seemingly burned out over time.  Today, many people make ‘fun’ of her for always being ‘late’ to concerts.   Rarely does she bless us with those beautiful bars anymore – new music from her is rarely released. Perhaps, a small reminder, that all stars burn out some day.

Some stars burn out faster than others. Especially when the ‘solar systems’ they are part of, are destructive.

Wyclef wanted to be that star; he wanted the shine and the attention.  He clearly was not the star of this group – and it’s too bad he did not realize that. Who knows how much ‘bigger’ he would be today, had he understood the group dynamic.  Same can be said for all groups, that break up – and the ‘background’ members’ flame flickers out. The stardom they wanted, could’ve been attained had they simply recognized the truth. Instead of All of them shinning together, they got jealous of each other’s light.

When you’re in a group with James Brown, and feel like you should get as much props as he gets – it’s always a mistake. Within teams, organizations, and especially groups, each member needs to be honest with themselves about who’s really who. Often the ‘small roles’ are just as important as the bigger roles. It helps when the real stars understand this too; Makes the work environment better for all.

 

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