Wyclef Jean

Album cover of 2000's The Ecleftic

Wyclef Jean (born October 17, 1972) is a Haitian-born rapper, producer and former member of the superstar hip hop trio The Fugees, known now for a series of high-profile hit singles.

Born in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti, Jean moved to Brooklyn when he was nine, then to New Jersey, where he began playing the guitar and studying jazz in high school. In 1987, Jean, his cousin Prakazrel Michel (Pras) and his classmate, Lauryn Hill, formed a group called the Tranzlator Crew before becoming The Fugees. Wyclef worked as a cabdriver.

The Fugees signed to Ruffhouse Records and released their debut, Blunted on Reality, but the album was panned and sold poorly. Their eclectic follow-up, The Score, however, sold over 17 million copies worldwide and turned the trio into international superstars. Jean soon announced plans to begin a solo career with 1997's Wyclef Jean Presents the Carnival Featuring the Refugee All-Stars (more typically called simply The Carnival). The album's guests included Hill and Pras along with Jean's siblings, the I Threes (back-up vocals for Bob Marley), Neville Brothers and Celia Cruz. The album was a major hit, as were two singles: "We Trying to Stay Alive" (adapted from The Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive") and "Gone Til November" (recorded with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra).

Jean went on to work with artists including Santana, Tevin Campbell, Cypress Hill, Bounty Killer, Whitney Houston, Destiny's Child, Sublime, Simply Red, Mya, Sinéad O'Connor, Kimberly Scott, Mick Jagger, Canibus, The Black Eyed Peas and Eric Benét. The Fugees remained in limbo during this time, with the follow-up to The Score being continually postponed as all three members cultivated solo careers. Jean's second solo album was The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book, recorded with guests Youssou N'Dour, Earth, Wind & Fire, Kenny Rogers, The Rock and Mary J. Blige. The critical reception was mixed, with many calling the album scattershot and too far-ranging to be cohesive.

Jean's third album, Masquerade, was released in 2002 and sold well, though critics frequently panned it.

His fourth album was The Preacher's Son, an album that Wyclef considered a continuation of his first album, Carnival.

In 2004, he released his fifth album, entitled Sak Pasé Presents: Welcome to Haiti (Creole 101) (released in the United States by Koch Records). A freewheeling album that is something of a return to his Caribbean roots, most of the songs on the album are in his native language of Haitian Creole or Kreyòl.

In 2005, Jean earned a Golden Globe for his track entitled "Million Voices" featured on the soundtrack to the film Hotel Rwanda.


Discography

  • 1997 Wyclef Jean Presents The Carnival Featuring the Refugee All-Stars
  • 2000 The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book
  • 2002 Masquerade
  • 2003 The Preacher's Son
  • 2004 Sak Pasé Presents: Creole 101 (Welcome to Haiti)

Links

  • Official Website (http://www.wyclef.com)
  • Sak Pase Records Website (http://www.sakpaserecords.net)
  • J Records Website (http://www.jrecords.com)
  • Clef Records Website (http://www.clefrecords.com)

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. See also: Krautrock. In 2005, Jean earned a Golden Globe for his track entitled "Million Voices" featured on the soundtrack to the film Hotel Rwanda. In 2002 Q magazine named Kraftwerk as one of the "50 Bands To See Before You Die". A freewheeling album that is something of a return to his Caribbean roots, most of the songs on the album are in his native language of Haitian Creole or Kreyòl. The new album, Tour de France Soundtracks, was finally released in August 2003, making it the first album of new Kraftwerk material since 1986's Electric Cafe. In 2004, he released his fifth album, entitled Sak Pasé Presents: Welcome to Haiti (Creole 101) (released in the United States by Koch Records). An announcement by their record company of a July 22, 2003 release also fell through, with the perfectionists delaying again for several weeks.

His fourth album was The Preacher's Son, an album that Wyclef considered a continuation of his first album, Carnival. The single Expo 2000, their first new song in 13 years, was released in December 1999, and was subsequently remixed by contemporary electronic musicians such as Orbital. Jean's third album, Masquerade, was released in 2002 and sold well, though critics frequently panned it. The growing time between recordings, the rarity of live performances and the increasingly exacting and protracted nature of the recording process were major reasons behind the departure of Flür and especially Bartos, whose improvisations were an essential part of the earlier Kraftwerk recordings . The critical reception was mixed, with many calling the album scattershot and too far-ranging to be cohesive. Like a number of other recording artists, Hütter and Schneider appear to have become increasingly perfectionist in their attitude towards recording and releasing their music. Blige. After years of withdrawal from live performance, Kraftwerk began to tour again more regularly in the late 1990s and in 2004, and stated that they were working on new material -- though speculation about release dates fell through several times.

Jean's second solo album was The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book, recorded with guests Youssou N'Dour, Earth, Wind & Fire, Kenny Rogers, The Rock and Mary J. They do however state that a reasonable fraction of the instrumentation is actually played live, and that they do improvise somewhat from show to show. The Fugees remained in limbo during this time, with the follow-up to The Score being continually postponed as all three members cultivated solo careers. At times, mannequins built to look like the band members replace or accompany the live musicians, known simply as "the robots". Jean went on to work with artists including Santana, Tevin Campbell, Cypress Hill, Bounty Killer, Whitney Houston, Destiny's Child, Sublime, Simply Red, Mya, Sinéad O'Connor, Kimberly Scott, Mick Jagger, Canibus, The Black Eyed Peas and Eric Benét. Their stage act involves the members standing behind minimalistic desks, controlling the various sequencers that drive the show. The album was a major hit, as were two singles: "We Trying to Stay Alive" (adapted from The Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive") and "Gone Til November" (recorded with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra). Kraftwerk also pioneered the use of computer graphics as a backdrop for their shows.

The album's guests included Hill and Pras along with Jean's siblings, the I Threes (back-up vocals for Bob Marley), Neville Brothers and Celia Cruz. Kraftwerk have impinged on mainstream popular culture to the extent that they have been referenced in The Simpsons and Father Ted. Jean soon announced plans to begin a solo career with 1997's Wyclef Jean Presents the Carnival Featuring the Refugee All-Stars (more typically called simply The Carnival). The tracks were cleverly reworked in a Latin American music style. Their eclectic follow-up, The Score, however, sold over 17 million copies worldwide and turned the trio into international superstars. In 2000, electronic musician Uwe Schmidt, recording as Señor Coconut, released an album of Kraftwerk covers called El Baile Alemán. The Fugees signed to Ruffhouse Records and released their debut, Blunted on Reality, but the album was panned and sold poorly. Kraftwerk have also been extensively sampled by some influential musicians and bands including Afrika Bambaataa, Beck, The Orb, The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu/KLF, Madonna, Depeche Mode, De La Soul, R.E.M., Meat Beat Manifesto, Fatboy Slim, Chemical Brothers, the Bloodhound Gang, and many more.

In 1987, Jean, his cousin Prakazrel Michel (Pras) and his classmate, Lauryn Hill, formed a group called the Tranzlator Crew before becoming The Fugees. Wyclef worked as a cabdriver. Five songs were arranged for strings for their album Possessed. Born in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti, Jean moved to Brooklyn when he was nine, then to New Jersey, where he began playing the guitar and studying jazz in high school. Their music has been recorded by the classical ensemble the Balanescu Quartet. Wyclef Jean (born October 17, 1972) is a Haitian-born rapper, producer and former member of the superstar hip hop trio The Fugees, known now for a series of high-profile hit singles. The single "Tour de France" featured lyrics in French. Clef Records Website (http://www.clefrecords.com). Notably, all of their albums from Trans-Europe Express onwards have been recorded in two separate versions -- one with German vocals for sale in Germany, and one with English vocals for international sale.

J Records Website (http://www.jrecords.com). They also pioneered the use of backing tracks that were generated by the electronic sequencing of purely synthetic sounds. Sak Pase Records Website (http://www.sakpaserecords.net). Many of the vocals in Kraftwerk songs are processed through a Vocoder, or generated using speech synthesis software -- a Speak & Spell was used on their 1981 album Computer World. Official Website (http://www.wyclef.com). Kraftwerk were certainly one of the first, if not the first "pop" act to record using pure electronic (or electronically processed) instruments and sounds exclusively. 2004 Sak Pasé Presents: Creole 101 (Welcome to Haiti). This was followed by a trio of albums that were to exert a huge influence on popular music -- Radio-Activity (1975), Trans-Europe Express (1977) and their masterpiece, The Man Machine (1978).

2003 The Preacher's Son. After several early experimental albums their breakthrough came in 1974 (1974 in music) with the Autobahn album and the 22-minute title track (see "Autobahn" SAMPLE (252 kilobytes)), which was a worldwide hit and demonstrated their increasing reliance on synthesizers and electronics. 2002 Masquerade. Many of Kraftwerk's songs express the paradoxical nature of modern urban life -- a strong sense of alienation existing side by side with a celebration of the joys of modern technology. 2000 The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book. The lyrics are usually very minimal, but reveal both an innocent celebration of, and a knowing caution about the modern world, as well as playing an integral role in the rhythmic structure of the songs. 1997 Wyclef Jean Presents The Carnival Featuring the Refugee All-Stars. Kraftwerk's lyrics dealt with postwar European urban life and technology—travelling by car on the Autobahn, travelling by train, using home computers and the like.

Plank produced the first four Kraftwerk albums, but ceased working with them after the commerical success of Autobahn, apparently over a dispute about contracts. Plank worked with many other leading German acts (including members of Can, Neu!, Cluster, Harmonia) and largely as a result of his work with Kraftwerk, Plank's studio in Cologne (Köln) became one of the most sought-after studios in Europe in the late Seventies. The input, expertise and influence of producer/engineer Conny Plank was also significant. Following the departure of Flür and Bartos, various Kling Klang studio personnel such as Fritz Hilpert and Henning Schmitz have appeared in the Kraftwerk live line-up.

Painter Emil Schult has been a regular collaborator with the band since 1973 (originally playing bass guitar and electric violin, then designing artwork and additional lyrics, and accompanying them on tour). This show saw the public debut of the group's striking self-built electronic percussion pads, played by Flür.). (Flür had joined the band in 1973 as a drummer, in prepartion for a television appearance to promote their third album. This quartet would be the band's public persona for their classic output of the 1970s and 1980s.

This saw the band presented as a electronic quartet, with Hütter & Schneider joined by Wolfgang Flür and Karl Bartos as electronic percussionists. What is generally regarded as the classic Kraftwerk line-up formed in 1975, for the Autobahn tour. The early Kraftwerk line-ups (1970-1974) fluctuated, Hütter & Schneider working with around half a dozen other musicians over the course of recording four albums and sporadic live appearances - most notably guitarist Michael Rother and drummer Klaus Dinger, who left to form the revered band Neu!. The two had met as students in the late 1960s, and had already released one album (Tone Float) playing in a five-piece improvisation group called Organisation.

Kraftwerk was founded in 1970 by Florian Schneider-Esleben (flute) and Ralf Hütter (keyboards), the pair setting up their Kling Klang studio in Düsseldorf. Today many popular Techno DJs refer to them as one of their most important influences. The techniques that they introduced and the equipment that they developed are now commonplace in modern music. Kraftwerk (German for "power plant") is a German avant-garde electro-pop group from Düsseldorf that contributed much to the development of, and interest in, electronic music.

Tour de France Soundtracks - 2003. The Mix - 1991 (new recordings of older songs). Electric Cafe - 1986 (Originally scheduled by EMI for release in 1983 under the title Techno Pop, the material was re-worked into this album.). Computerwelt 1981 - (English title: Computer World).

Die Mensch-Maschine - 1978 (English title: The Man-Machine). Trans-Europa Express - 1977 (English title: Trans-Europe Express). Radio-Aktivität - 1975 (English title: Radio-Activity). Autobahn - 1974.

Ralf und Florian - 1973. Kraftwerk 2 - 1972. Kraftwerk - 1971. Tone Float - 1970 (as Organisation).

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