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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. The band played their last show in Paris without Pete Doherty. In 2005, Jean earned a Golden Globe for his track entitled "Million Voices" featured on the soundtrack to the film Hotel Rwanda. The Libertines officially disbanded at the end of 2004. 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 the interview with Kirsty Wark, Doherty talked openly about his addictions to heroin and crack cocaine, stating that "I'm not a nihilist, I don't want to die", and talked about the breakdown of his relationship with Carl Barat. In 2004, he released his fifth album, entitled Sak Pasé Presents: Welcome to Haiti (Creole 101) (released in the United States by Koch Records). The piece featured Doherty's first-ever major television interview as well as an acoustic performance of "Music When the Lights Go Out".

His fourth album was The Preacher's Son, an album that Wyclef considered a continuation of his first album, Carnival. On 21 December 2004, a 12 minute feature on Pete Doherty was broadcast on BBC2's current affairs programme Newsnight. Jean's third album, Masquerade, was released in 2002 and sold well, though critics frequently panned it. Carl Barat told NME that he plans to leave the Libertines at the end of 2004 if Pete Doherty doesn't clean up from his on-going drug problems. The critical reception was mixed, with many calling the album scattershot and too far-ranging to be cohesive. In September 2004 given a community service order after being found with a flick knife in his car, a "welcome back" looked unlikely. Blige. However he recently formed his own band, Babyshambles and has failed to kick his drug habit.

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. After serving one month in jail he rejoined the band in October 2003, However In June 2004 he was kicked out of the band again because of narcotic problems, but the band has promised that "When he cleans up his addictions he will be immediately welcomed back into the band" [1] (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/music/3852977.stm). 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. The remaining members toured without him in August and September. 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. Peter Doherty became estranged from the band, and was convicted of burglary of bandmate Carl Barat's flat in September 2003. 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). Despite their success and critical acclaim (especially in the UK), the band has fallen upon difficult times of late.

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. In their attitude they are almost always compared to The Sex Pistols due to their chaotic and energetic live peformances and, either refreshingly or depressingly depending how you see these things, Pete Doherty's instability and nihilistic, self destructive behavior. 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). Many of their lyrics refer to elements of British life, use English/cockney slang and are delivered in a style reminiscent of Joe Strummer (though Pete Doherty is by no means an unoriginal vocalist). Their eclectic follow-up, The Score, however, sold over 17 million copies worldwide and turned the trio into international superstars. The band has been compared to many classic British rock n' roll bands, as their angle on rock n' roll is uniquely English. Their sound is often compared to the sound of The Jam, The Kinks' early records as well as The Clash's first album and early singles. The Fugees signed to Ruffhouse Records and released their debut, Blunted on Reality, but the album was panned and sold poorly. It was followed in 2004 by their second album, simply entitled The Libertines.

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 single's success was followed up by the album Up The Bracket, produced by punk icon Mick Jones, formerly of The Clash and Big Audio Dynamite. 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 debut single, "What A Waster" (2002), produced by former Suede guitarist Bernard Butler, was immediately seized upon by the English press for its liberal use of profanity and English colloquialism. 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 line-up consists of Pete Doherty (vocals/guitar), Carl Barat (vocals/guitar), John Hassall (bass) and Gary Powell (drums). Clef Records Website (http://www.clefrecords.com). The Libertines were a critically acclaimed British rock and roll band noted for their chaotic live outings and uniquely English take on punk rock.

J Records Website (http://www.jrecords.com). The Libertines (2004). Sak Pase Records Website (http://www.sakpaserecords.net). Up The Bracket (2002). Official Website (http://www.wyclef.com). 2004 Sak Pasé Presents: Creole 101 (Welcome to Haiti).

2003 The Preacher's Son. 2002 Masquerade. 2000 The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book. 1997 Wyclef Jean Presents The Carnival Featuring the Refugee All-Stars.

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