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Wyclef Jean

Grammy award-winning hip hop artist and political activist Wyclef Jean on his roots, his music – his Haitian homeland. He joins us.

Wyclef Jean attends a party to benefit Donna Karan's Hope, Help and Rebuild Haiti charity, in New York, Tuesday, Sept, 20, 2011. (AP)

Wyclef Jean attends a party to benefit Donna Karan’s Hope, Help and Rebuild Haiti charity, in New York, Tuesday, Sept, 20, 2011. (AP)

Singer, rapper, activist Wyclef Jean was born in Haiti, a kid in Brooklyn and Newark, a big star with the Fugees  – with Lauryn Hill and his cousin Pras – by the mid-‘90s.  Son of a preacher, grandson of a voodoo priest, named after a Christian rebel, Wyclef Jean kept on rolling.

A superstar in Haiti, he was back after the earthquake with relief work and controversy.  Staggered by the destruction.  He put his name up for the Haitian presidency.  And he’s still making waves.

This hour, On Point:  Wyclef Jean on Haiti, America, and a life between.

-Tom Ashbrook

 Guests

Wyclef Jean, musician, activist and artist. His new book is Purpose: An Immigrant’s Story.

From Tom’s Reading List

Washington Post “Wyclef Jean doesn’t speak in the same smooth flow with which he raps. He chooses his words carefully and spits them out slowly, like he’s learned the hard way the weight they can bear.”

Daily Beast “In his new autobiography, Wyclef Jean recounts in vivid detail the story of his climb to the top with the Fugees, the affair with Lauryn Hill that brought an end to the group—and the two men he wanted to murder in Haiti.”

MTV  ”The Haitian-born musician weaves a vivid tale for his readers, revealing that Hill began dating the father of her children, Rohan Marley, during the period when she was still romantically involved with ‘Clef. In the book, Wyclef admits that he was jealous of Hill’s new relationship, despite having his own marriage, but when she became pregnant, he was led to believe that he was the father of her son.”

Video

Check out Wyclef Jean’s take on this Pink Floyd classic.

Excerpt

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  • stillin

    Caught Wyclef Jean with Akon at Ottawa Ontario’s bluesfest a few years back…it was CRAZY GOOD. They played a long time, maybe 3 hours…my favorite moment, Wyclef Jean said he would stop the rain, it was downpouring…and it stopped. It was that kind of thing. Also, enjoyed the different languages he sang in..go WJ. Loved it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.m.cogswell John M Cogswell Jr

    I am really interested in hearing Mr. Jean address allegations made against him about raiding his own non-profit to fund his concerts. 

    Within the Haitian community I find that he is a very controversial figure, loved by many and hated by some. So I am curious to see what he has to say in response to his detractors.

  • AL_H

    I saw a news story about Mr. Jean’s trip to Haiti after the earthquake. He is to be commended for his help. A 22 year old woman was interviewed. She had 5 children! Nothing will work  until population is brought under control. Nothing.

    Come to think of it that goes for the rest of the planet.

    Al from NH

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=575823671 Chris Wood

    Tom Ashbrook, You asked “What fight in Chicago?”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Baptiste_Point_du_Sable

  • stillin

    I love painting to Wyclef’s carnival cd…I have been to carnival in Trinidad many times, I also like the Haitian writers like Danticat and the new guy who’s name escapes me at the time…I loved Lauryn Hill with Wyclef such crazy stuff came out of that…I wish them all the best. Also, as an art teacher, I use and teach a Haitian unit which is great. There is a taptap “bus” , a jaguar in a rainforest and a lot of color! Even vodun rhinestone flags…fun!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/DHEEV3NFUUXPHQ56WRTZQ3YSPM Roger

    Mr. Jean is ignorant, ill-informed, unprepared for public presentation, financially corrupt, and ego-maniacal to the point of delusion.

    • http://www.facebook.com/john.m.cogswell John M Cogswell Jr

      Sadly, Roger that’s what I came away with from this interview as well.  I’d love to disagree with any of your points, but to do so would require me to be intellectually bankrupt, perhaps moreso than Mr. Jean.

    • Shag_Wevera

      Sounds a little bit like you are talking about Mitt Romney!

  • Shag_Wevera

    Haiti should’ve given him a chance.  They couldn’t do much worse.  I’ll cheer for anyone who genuinely wants to help Haiti.

  • JAIBEEZ

    For some reason I’ve always been skeptical of anything Wyclef says….

  • Delmomico
  • http://twitter.com/adcambridge44 Alain
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