Wyclef Jean Biography
Review The Artist (19)
Wyclef Jean's extraordinary musical talent has brought him wealth and fame and taken him all over the world. He's been a member of the biggest-selling rap group in history, he's a multi-platinum hit-making solo artist; and he's produced for, and collaborated with, an incredibly diverse array of musical superstars. But throughout his entire career, Wyclef Jean has never forgotten where he's come from, the places that nurtured his character and creativity as a young man: his native Haiti, where he lived until age nine, as well as the projects of Brooklyn and the streets of Jersey.
On Masquerade, his third solo album, Wyclef focuses his considerable lyrical and musical skills on life in the hood: past, present, and future. There are vivid tales of his childhood and his struggles as a young immigrant on the mean streets of New York, serious messages to the youth wrongly enamored of thug culture, and pleas for peace and love in the future--all backed by the eclectic and unpredictable sounds we've come to expect from a Wyclef Jean CD. Hardcore hip-hop beats, R&B funk, slow jams, and uptempo reggae--they're all here, sometimes all in the same track. Masquerade represents the next step in the musical development of an artist who's known unalloyed success since first stepping onto the scene nearly ten years ago, and who shows no signs of slowing down.
Wyclef Jean, of course, first hit it big as a prime mover in the groundbreaking Fugees, whose 1996 masterpiece The Score stands as one of the most influential records in hip-hop history. On that album, Wyclef pioneered a production style that became virtually unavoidable throughout the rest of the '90s: real life street hip-hop seasoned with a radio-friendly musical, lyrical and vocal sophistication. The Score sold more than 11 million copies worldwide, won two Grammys (including Best Rap Album), and paved the way for the successful solo careers of all three of its members. In 1997, Clef released Wyclef Jean Presents the Carnival, a double-platinum album that featured the emotionally powerful hit single "Gone Till November," which earned him a Grammy nomination in the Best Male R&B Vocal Performance category.
Clef's second solo CD, The Ecleftic -- 2 Sides II A Book, was even more musically adventurous than his previous work, from the booty-shakin' "Dirty South" to the socially-conscious neo-protest ballad "Diallo" to the R&B smash "911" which found Clef dueting with Mary J. Blige. In addition to his solo work, Clef found time to collaborate with Whitney Houston on her smash "My Love Is Your Love" and Carlos Santana on his chart-topping hit, "Maria Maria". More recently, Wyclef's worked with Mick Jagger and Sinéad O'Connor on their latest releases, as well as collaborations with U2, Destiny's Child, Michael Jackson, and Rita Marley.
The spiritual element that's always been crucial to Wyclef's music is immediately apparent on "Peace God," the first track of Masquerade. Clef calls this his "Crouching-Tiger style": a Far East flute is looped over a hip-hop drumbeat while Clef rhymes in praise of God and against false idols made by man. Whether adopting the persona of the Preacher's Son or a Thug Angel, Clef has always illuminated ghetto reality as he sees it, taking on the tone of a wise older brother rather than a strident preacher. "The PJs" is an ode to the projects Clef grew up in and the lessons he learned there: "Gotta make noise for the PJs/I wrote my first rhyme in the PJs/You can hear it in my speech, I'm from the PJs." This is a playful tribute to the harder life he's left behind as well as a reclamation of his status as a hip-hop artist, first and foremost.
There's no other musician today who seems so natural in so many different genres. "Masquerade" is a hardcore posse track featuring M.O.P., but while other producers might be content to just let the beat run, Clef brings on accomplished Israeli violinist Miri Ben-Ari to provide an unexpected coda to the track. Proving that he not only has an ear for music but also an eye for talent, "One Last Chance" is a soul ballad with Clef on acoustic guitar dueting with velvet-voiced Claudette Ortiz of City High. "Daddy" is one of the saddest songs you're ever likely to hear--reminiscent of 2Pac's classic "Dear Mama"--a rap that Clef dedicates to his recently departed father. "What A Night" remakes Frankie Valli's 1976 disco hit into a soul/hip-hop blend where Clef tells a little of his amazing life story and details his many accomplishments. On "Knockin' On Heaven's Door," Wyclef reworks the Bob Dylan classic, in Clef's version the lyrics are transformed into a lament on unnecessary death occurring in the ghetto and thro
ughout the world.
Masquerade is the kind of album that only Wyclef Jean could make--from rock to rap to soul to reggae, Clef is a living embodiment of the different styles and genres that comprise contemporary popular music. Producer, arranger, composer, musician, rapper, singer, and showman--Clef is that rare artist who not only does all these things, but does them incredibly well. There's only one Wyclef Jean and Masquerade secures his place as one of the most versatile, talented, and accomplished musical artists we've got.
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Kudos 2 wyclef | Reviewer: Anonymous | 7/2/13
Wyclef is d bigest in african truely & he is my mentor i hope i meet u oneday. Ur varsatality& ur musical exclamation gat me krazy. I hv musical talent 2 dis. Gabriel 0yigwu frm naija. God bles u master
wyclef jean as d presentative mentor of mine interest in music sounds, of a truth he's a huge success tn the all round wolrd. wyky i luv wela | Reviewer: ambo oribi | 11/29/11
my mentor in the world music industry i so muchly cherich is the wyclef kinds of music. especially the likes of two wrongs, killing softly and all the rest of your music. i believe regular listening 2 ur music d relationship 4 our contacts will b successful' i'm an up coming artiste 4rm nija d land and home country of nija ninja ur humble friend sound sultan. one love my boss
Wyclef Jean made love Hip Hop | Reviewer: Alfred Okoye | 8/9/11
In the early 1990s, I fell in love with hip hop music through a group called The Refuge Camp. Each time I listen to their songs, one particular voice always takes me to a level I can't explain. In my first contact with their picture, I deeply liked the appearance of one of them. As time moves on, I came to undastand that it was Wyclef that captured me with his voice & appearance. Sincerely speaking, I can't do without his music in a day ever since I got his album. Men I love everything about him that I wrote a song entitled 'Wyclf Jean' & if there is anyone that loves him more than me, that person must be coming from heaven. Today am trying to estabilish myself as a music artist with Wycle as a major influence. I believe one day, we shall work together & do an album which I have writen all the songs already. More grease to your elbow The Preacher's son.
Clef is the beast | Reviewer: Nickenson Auguste | 10/7/10
Hello Clef, i have nothing to say. I am just speechless. I met you twice, NY, and Philly. I don't think no one is more ur fan than me. I am ur # 1 fan and i applaud the good things that you have done for my native country, Haiti. I am a poet. I do poems. If you want too we can keep in touch and i can show you my work. Crewcial_114@yahoo.com
Love this great musician now becoming president!!! | Reviewer: Faith Taylor | 8/5/10
Wyclef Jean is a great musician, i love his music.He has been helping his country all the time, now he has step up to serve his people in this difficult time by running for president of Haiti, I hail him and wish him the best,
inspiration at its best | Reviewer: eze | 6/3/10
There few artist who stands for the truth and defend it. Clef is one of such.Defender and advocate of the oppressed. keep it up brother you ar well thought of. you music will continue to inspire our soul. god bless and remain steadfast.
Congratulations Jean | Reviewer: Fredler Gertin | 4/24/10
Well, i specically want to congratulate you in your efforts, I mean not just on your siging, but also on your helping in Haiti to recover, I mean it hurts me too, because Haiti is one of the country I was raised until 12; and it is a country I love a lot I don't know who else would love this country more than me. But what hurts me the most is that I cannot help my country and somehow I look forward to discuss some ideas that are so important about stuff going on down there... Everytime i'm eating, I cry... well I won't say much, but if you decide to support me, my e-mail is: email@example.com
Your the great. | Reviewer: Duch Marley | 4/22/10
Hello Mr Wyclef Jean,it gives me a gr8 joy to write to you at this point in time.All my life,i've been hoping to see you.thou there are many good music but i must confess yours is the best for me,you are my most favourite artist in da whole wide world i grew up listening to your music and i really enjoyed every move you make and i learnt alot from your music and now i can make a good music from me. Tears rolled thru my eyes when i heard about what happened to your people but i concluded God knows the reason why things happened the way they happen.but for this reason i got this track from me to your people bcuz the kind of love i have for you can neva make me turn my back when i heard such thing happened to your people cuz they are my people too so this reason but i pray the sun should shine on my way n let the lord provide the necessary needs which i need to finish work on my music and shine like every other artist.Hoping to be with ya on a lucky day. thanks and may the lord be with you,
Yours lovely Fan. Duch Marley.
U jst amazing | Reviewer: Ananu Lord | 3/20/10
Am particularly enthused by ur song diallo.thanx alot clef for seeking justice for another african brother or blacks in general.i would take this opportunity to commisesate wit u on the earthquake in haiti.
Thank you | Reviewer: Peter Akwure | 12/29/09
Hello Mr Clef, my name is Peter, i just wanna thank and congratulate u 4 the wonderful performance being displayed yesterday at the Calabar festival in Calabar, Nigeria. It was a great pleasure of seeing you live on stage, even when you walked into the crowd, the whole placed rocked. I count my self very lucky to have witness such, because have dreamt of a day like that where i will meet my super star Jean Wyclef. You are awesome and magnificent. You motivate the weak with your inspirational words and has help your country(Haiti)alot and Africa in general. I will forever be your fans for life. Thank you for reading this review.
Lyricist | Reviewer: Mika | 12/1/09
I am such a fan of Wycleff!! i think you have a unique music that has really rocked the world. I am also a writer of music and was hoping if you could sample some of my music. Please give me a holla back at 706-987-4950 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Just Superb | Reviewer: Mavuto Edward Mdala | 11/22/09
I have listened to quite a great deal of music but Clef is just superb. He is never Confrontational and he has his own unique style of music. Whether he does a collab or goes solo, everybody will distinctively know the Clef style therein.
I love the music. Keep the fire burning man!!!
i have a movie i want you to be the exsecutive producer | Reviewer: romane simon | 7/25/09
hello mr jean
my name is romane simon
i am an actor/director
i have a movie i am working on now with trick daddy /neil brown jr/scooby and a few other ffamous actor from l.a
this movie call REVENG OF JETLEE
AND I ALWAYS DREAM OF WORKING WITH YOU IN ONE OF MY PROJECT. SO AS THAT MOVIE IS MY BIGGES PROJECT I WANT TO ASK YOU
CAN YOU BE THE EXSECUTIVE PRODUCER OF THIS MOVIE
i can be reached at 321 594 9203 or email@example.com PLEASE IF YOU DO THAT FOR ME YOU WON'T REGRET IT
I KNOW YOU A BZ MAN
AND A PART OF THIS MONEY THE MOVIE MAKE I WANNA HELP HAITI TOO JUST YOU ARE HELPING HAITI
i am so happy to write to you today
i am looking forward to work with
thank you Godbless you
greatest | Reviewer: akano tunde | 6/10/09
i listen to a wide range of music and i feel wyclef jean is up there. greatness to me, is not by record sales but the content of the song. the world dont want to hear the truth no more. wyclef is extraordinary infact, when you mention the beatles, bob marley, pink ffloyd, mj etc.....you should remember a clef
Cleffy is my mentor and rolemodel | Reviewer: IMMANUEL K. ANSAH | 4/5/09
Am a producer and an Africa from Ghana to be precise.i will love to communicate with wyclef and if possible learn from him since am planing of coming to America sometime soon.i'll be very greatful if this could happen,cus its going to be a dream come true.may God almighty bless more and more in all that you do.thanks alot
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