Artist Health

The Wyclef & Lauryn Hill Story: Why it is a Bad Idea to Date your Band Mate.

The FugeesSome days ago, I shared the story of Wyclef Jean and Lauryn Hill’s breakup on my social media pages. The comments were interesting. The story was a personal account from Wyclef’s view on why the relationship did not work for him and Lauryn Hill. What stood out to me as I read the story  (which was originally published in 2012 but has been re-circulating these past few days) was why it is a good idea to exercise self control and avoid dating a band mate, especially if there are other artists involved in your band.

AML artists, here are a few reasons why it is not a good idea to date your bandmate:

1. It almost never ends well. Gwen Stefani & Tony Kanal of NO DOUBT anyone, among many?

2. Business gets really entangled with the personal and that is a recipe for disaster.

3. While great songs can and do stem from the emotional roller coasters, at what price? Usually it’s the price of your band dissolving.

4. Legal rights i.e. intellectual property rights can also become entangled. You are too busy making out to be bothered with who owns what, until of course the relationship is over then you want to fight over rights like they are children in a bitter divorce. Not a good look.

I could go on but I won’t. Just know it’s a bad idea and you should avoid it.

The narration below of Wyclef comes off very narcissistic and egotistical. As you all know, Pras continues to blame him for why the Fugees broke up. Now ex-factor makes so much sense than ever before.


Wyclef Jean: I loved Lauryn Hill and my wife

I feel like an old man every time I tell a young gun what the music business was like in my day, when my group’s biggest record came out. I’m not even talking about how it was back in the days of Grandmaster Flash or even Public Enemy and A Tribe Called Quest. I’m talking about my day, which was only fifteen years ago — but that’s how much the world of music has changed. That’s a blink of an eye in the history of the business, but back then the things considered impossible today were still possible. Back then, in the nineties, a record could come out and sell 15 million copies if it struck a chord with the world at the time. Back then, radio could still make a somebody out of a nobody, and you couldn’t get recorded music for free unless you taped it live off the radio. People would line up to buy an artist’s new CD the day it came out, because to hear it, you had to own a piece of plastic with that song recorded on it.

A record that talked about what was going on at the time was something that everyone had to have back then because it was more than a record: it was a moment. Dr. Dre’s “The Chronic” was one of those records. Biggie Smalls’s “Ready to Die” was one of those records. Tupac’s “Me Against the World” was one of those records. Jay-Z’s “Reasonable Doubt” was one of those records. And the Fugees’ “The Score” was one of those records. Everybody who loves hip-hop has a memory from the summer of ’96 involving one of the singles off “The Score.” Don’t even try to tell me y’all don’t. And unlike a lot of those other records, songs like “Ready or Not,” and “Killing Me Softly,” crossed over to pop fans, too. Our second album was one of those records responsible for bringing hip-hop into the mainstream, and making it the driving force in music for the second half of the nineties into today.

In 1996, there was so much great music out that for us to sell 15 million records worldwide really meant something. Hip-hop and R&B were at their best that year: Biggie and Tupac had just released their masterpieces, Jay-Z was heating up, TLC was at the top of the charts with “CrazySexyCool,” and Wu-Tang had us all in check. D’Angelo’s “Brown Sugar” was out, and Michael and Janet Jackson had just dropped “Scream.” We had to have skills to take those charts by storm the way we did.

“The Score” is raw storytelling: it’s a candid picture of who we were and the times we were living in. We didn’t make it in a slick upscale studio; we made it in a basement in the ’hood in New Jersey. Our recordings were pure — no tricks in sight — and it connected with music fans around the world. We had built our fan base one country and one city at a time, so when we came at everyone with “The Score,” they were ready…” Salon has the full story.

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Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a fashion and entertainment lawyer, speaker, visionary, gamechanger, trailblazer, and recognized thought leader, for her work on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets, and the niche practice of fashion law in the United States. She is also the founder of ‘Africa Music Law,’ an industry go-to music business and law blog and podcast show empowering African artists. Her work in the creative and legal industries has earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including an award from the American University Washington College of Law for her “legal impact in the field of intellectual property in Africa." She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at several institutions in the United States. For more information, visit her at

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