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The Fugees May Have Canceled Their Reunion Tour Because Pras (The "Ghetto Superstar" Guy) Is Going To Jail For A Huge Money Laundering Scheme Involving Obama's 2012 Campaign

Yahoo - Last year, the Fugees announced and then quickly canceled a reunion tour celebrating their seminal album, The Score. At the time, the band blamed the cancelation on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. However, per a new report from Puck.News, the band canceled the tour due to Pras Michels’ alleged involvement in the 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.

In 2019, Michel was indicted for his involvement in a scheme to launder money from Malaysian officials through the 2012 US presidential election. Michel worked on behalf of Jho Low, who Puck describes as a “Malaysian financier and social climber who once partied with A-listers like Leonardo DiCaprio, Megan Fox, and Kim Kardashian.” Low stands accused of laundering $4.5 billion on behalf of 1MDB. According to the DOJ, Michel funneled money through Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, using his celebrity to influence political figures covertly.

For Michel’s part, he was allegedly paid $8 million upfront, with another $75 million if he successfully squashed the investigation into 1MDB. But, apparently, this is where the Fugees tour fell apart, with Michel reportedly refusing an offer to take a lesser violation of failing to register as a foreign agent. The deal required him to plead guilty to the obstruction of justice charge and serve 16 months in prison, but the government would’ve “returned a few million of the approximately $40 million it seized from Michel’s accounts,” writes Consequence Of Sound. So instead, the Justice Department ordered that Michel stays in the country, which meant he could not tour.

Michel’s attorney, David Kenner, filed to have the charges dismissed. “This case is following the trajectory of so many before it, where a case with multiple defendants features a lone black artist,” Kenner wrote in the dismissal motion filed earlier this month. “In this case, it works like this: the artist, who speaks for the poor and marginalized and who gives back to such communities in enormous ways, is the last man standing.” Kenner is famous for successfully representing Snoop Dogg in the rapper’s 1996 murder trial.

Michel is expected in court on November 4 in DC. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.

Holy shit man.

To borrow a line from Pras' boy Wyclef (who's no saint himself (more on this below), looks like Pras is gonna be "gone til November."

This sucks because when the Fugees announced a reunion, and then a tour on top of it, it was incredible news. You're lying if you say you don't at least like, if not LOVE, The Fugees. Shitty personality traits of the groups' members aside, they are responsible for some of the best music of the end of the 20th century. The Score is timeless and one of the best albums ever. That's not opinion. That's fact. Seeing them get to perform it, live, in person, at an age I'm able to actually afford tickets and not have to get a ride to the show from one of my friends' moms was something I was really looking forward to.

Only problem is they announced they were canceling it just as quickly as they announced they were hitting the road together.

To think it was because of Covid, at first, seemed logical. A pussy move (because it didn't stop hundreds of other tours from happening), but logical. 

When life started to get somewhat back to normal and makeup dates weren't announced, things started to seem fishy. 

And now, thanks to the sleuths over at Puck News, we get this bombshell dropping.

And this wasn't just some ordinary little money washing scheme either. 

We're talking a Malayasian social climber (WSD's favorite term), who was buddies with Leo DiCaprio, who allegedly funneled $4.5 BILLION, yes, with a B, dollars through political campaigns, including the 2012 election. 

How Pras got wrapped up in this, and kicked a cool $75 million for his efforts, blows my mind, but holy shit man. 

And to top that all off, how about the balls on Pras for not taking the plea deal because it would have meant serving 16 months in a white collar prison, and only being returned "a few million" of his money he worked so hard to earn?

The Feds don't lose in court, so to play chicken with them is bananaland. And taking the 16 month bid, still getting "a few million" when you're out, and being able to tour and make more millions isn't a bad offer when you're basically caught dead to rights. 

But what do I know?

What the hell is it with The Fugees though man? 

Pras' bandmate Wyclef Jean also dealt with his own share of hot water issues regarding money a few years back. 

After a hurricane and earthquake rocked his homeland of Haiti, Wyclef acted quickly and raised close to $20 million dollars via his charity to aid with relief efforts. Over a two-year period though, the charity managed to burn through SIXTEEN MILLION DOLLARS which is still unaccounted for.

Yikes. 

And their girl Lauryn Hill is a whole other subject for another day and another blog. 

At least they make great music.

Until the dust settles, at least we'll always have their small surprise show at Dave Chappelle's block party

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We talked about this on this week's episode of On The Guestlist - check it out and subscribe to stay up on everything going on in the world of music and to hear White Sox Dave ask new fathers if they ate their wives placenta