The release of the Fugees sophomore LP “The Score” was a long time ago. It was 23 years ago, in fact, and at the time it seemed like the money was rolling in for Pras Michel, one of its members.
But these days, things are far different for the 46-year-old, and he says he’s living with his mother in Florida out of necessity.
It’s something Michel and his lawyer Judith White told a judge in Manhattan Family Court on Monday, where the rapper is attempting to lower his monthly child-support payments to his ex Angela Severiano, whom he has a son with named Landon. Right now, Michel is paying $4,800 a month in support.
White also said that her client is trying to improve his finances with the release of a new album titled “Elon Musk,” because he currently has no income coming in.
That’s probably because the Fugees, who also included Lauryn Hill and Michel’s cousin Wyclef Jean, parted ways many years ago and haven’t hit the road or made any show money as a collective since.
Meanwhile, earlier this year, Michel was accused of accepting a transfer of millions of dollars from Malaysian businessman and international fugitive Jho Low.
Michel was also accused of helping Low move $73 million of stolen Malaysian funds to various U.S. bank accounts to help change the outcome of a money-laundering investigation into Low.
The rapper pleaded not guilty to a four-count indictment surrounding the accusations and said he’s completely innocent.
But the feds have already seized $75 million of the reported $100 million dollars he had, and in January of this year the rapper attempted to get $37.5 million of that money back.
But White said that Michel is hopeful that his new album will bring in some much needed income.
“My client is aware that he has to reinvent himself,” she told the judge, Page Six reported. “So that he is able to pay money for this child and he is doing everything in his ability [to do that], such as attempting to release a new album called ‘Elon Musk.”
“He hit a very hard low and is attempting to bring himself up in the best way he knows, through his art,” added White. “Right now he simply has no income.”
But Severiano’s lawyer Robert Wallack pushed back.
“We have no idea what his income is,” he stated. “We have no idea what the sources of his money are because he has not provided a sworn affidavit. How is he traveling? How did he fly to town for this appearance?”
“How did he fly to Washington, D.C., three times in the last two months? How is he supporting his lifestyle? He is releasing a new album,” Wallack continued. “It’s preposterous to sit here and say, through his attorney, that he has no money and no access to money.”
After the family court hearing, Michel said he’s not avoiding his child support responsibilities, and he also talked about his new LP.
“I’m doing everything I can. I’m not trying to not pay child support,” he stated. “The best thing I can do is work on my creative. Hopefully, it will be successful and then once it’s successful then everything will be back to normal.”
“For six years we have no problem,” added Michel. “I paid [child support]. I am not trying to run away from my responsibilities.”