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This Month's Issue

Interview: Wyclef Jean
Thursday, March 13, 2008

Thick: Haiti recently made you an official Roving Ambassador but you've always been a roving ambassador for music. You've collaborated with musicians worldwide. Speak on that.
Wyclef Jean: It started in 1994 with the Fugees. The first album was called Blunted On Reality. And if anybody go back and listen to that album today, you'll notice that's Hip-Hop but with a world beat undertone. Which means we always been conscious about world music and world issues, and on this album before The Score we was always talking about world issues and world music. And this about twenty years later and now they're calling me a roving ambassador. But I think you can't just be called that, people have to have seen the work and consistency of the work, musically and socially. So, it's all good.

T: Do you do Mona Lisa and Nappy Heads in your solo show?
WJ: Oh yeah, we go through twenty years of hits.

T: I've heard people say Wyclef is the best show they've ever seen. What is it about a Wyclef show?
WJ: I mean really, I think the gift for entertainment come from when you're little. Somebody want to be a pilot, somebody wants to be the president, I always just wanted to be an entertainer. I see a crowd, I want to get into it. And the show for me is sorta like my therapy and that's my way of letting everything out. So, that's the energy of the show.

T: Is the Fugees reunion a dead issue?
WJ: As the producer, I always like to keep that hope alive and that possibility. It seems not possible the moment.

T: Share your thoughts on the Haitian Hip-Hop scene.
WJ: For me the way Haiti is evolving with Hip-Hop is incredible. There's a Sak Pase artist by the name of Jimmy O, very incredible artist. What impressed me the most when I went to Haiti, I just brought Akon down there a few weeks ago, is the way that even though they don't speak English, they learn all of the American lyrics. They understand what the Americans are talking about, and then they take it and they put it in they own words. Meaning like they understand rap is a struggle. It's definitely evolving. And I think even with Montreal, the movement of Hip-Hop Creole is definitely going to take off in the future.

T: Do you know any of Montreal's Hip-Hop Creole artists?
WJ: Definitely, the crew that I did a song with, the 24 Hours remix, was Muzion.

T: Carnival II dropped not long ago but are you already working on something new?
WJ: Yeah, my next album gon' be called Music Theory.

T: You and TI have a struck up a productive friendship, how did that come about?
WJ: Well, I mean TIP is a real dude. Once we did that What It Is record we just bonded as brothers. It's always beyond the music. That just my fam and my brother for life, period.

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