My life just got a little cooler. I found out that I have the same personal trainer as former Fugees frontman Wyclef Jean, and I got to see them both this past Wednesday night (June 19) at B.B. Kings.
Wyclef Jean is 43 years old today, but he certainly doesn’t feel that way. “I look + feel 26!” he tweeted, along with this stunning photo of him atop his most patriotic Ducati. “U cant keep à good Man down! Keep à smile when they want you to frown!” he wrote, and yet this photo depicts a very oiled, very stern-looking Wyclef.
Either way, he looks good and who knows what’s lurking in that fancy two-car garage behind him. More bikes? More body oil?
Are you excited yet about Round One of Bracket Madness featuring your favorite emcees of the Yo! MTV Raps era? In this corner, we have the pioneers of this rap thing: Chuck D vs. KRS-One. With their well respected contributions to hip-hop its kind of hard to choose between the two. Both bred in the ghettos of New York in the 60s and 70s, their lyrics reflected the awareness of the world they saw around them. But one would be highly mistaken if they attributed the consciousness in their rhymes for weakness. Each one of their flows are undeniably raw. So who do you vote for? Here’s three reasons to vote for either one.
1. Two words: Public Enemy.
Dude was a member of Public Enemy. Need we say more? A rap group like that doesn’t come around twice in a lifetime. “Public Enemy #1″ was a classic track from their debut album Yo! Bum Rush the Show in 1987. From 1988-1991, the dynamic group released three platinum albums. The same group gifted the world with “Fight the Power.” This song is better than some cats’ entire catalog. I’m just sayin’. Public Enemy went on to sell four million albums throughout their career. Plus, anyone that could put up with the clock rocking Flavor Flav, has to be one hell of a guy.
2. Distinctive sound.
No one in hip-hop has a voice like Chuck. It’s so distinctive it couldn’t even be duplicated. He raps, you listen. From the flow to the tone to the speed, Chuck D has a full command of his sound.
Florence + The Machine Cover Drake’s “Take Care”
Florence + The Machine covered Drake‘s “Take Care” on BBC Radio 1′s Live Lounge, and while the cover featured all the soaring, atmospheric vocals we love Florence Welch for, it missed the brooding darkness of Drake and Rihanna‘s original. [Spin]
Wyclef Jean’s Haiti Charity May Have Been Involved In Some Shady Spending
The books are allegedly failing to add up for Wyclef‘s Yele Haiti relief fund. The charity reportedly made $16 million in 2010, but only an alleged $5.1 million was spent on the relief effort. Wyclef is being defensive, and for Haiti’s sake, we hope he doesn’t turn out to be a swindler. [Billboard]
VH1 debuted the latest countdown in our long-running The Greatest series, the 40 Most Shocking Hip Hop Moments, this evening. If you missed it, don’t worry; it will rerun tomorrow night, Monday, September 19, at midnight. If you’re looking for the complete list, look no further. Here are the 40 Most Shocking Hip Hop Moments … so far!
40) Nicki Minaj gets butt slapped by Regis Philbin
39) Wyclef runs for president of Haiti
38) 50 Cent shockingly thin Twitter pics
37) Lil Wayne goes to prison and gets grillz removed
36) Redman?s shocking Cribs episode [WATCH]
35) Cam?ron?s anti-snitching 60 Minutes interview
34) Dr. Dre?s shocking transformation at VMAs
33) Sir Mix-A-Lot?s raunchy ?Put ?Em on the Glass? video
32) Lil Mama crashes stage during Jay-Z and Alicia Keys VMA performance
31) Suge Knight knocked out
If Lauryn Hill‘s most recent public behavior (remember this amazing interview?) left you worrying about her mental stability, you aren’t alone: Lauryn’s former Fugee cohort Wyclef Jean tells Rolling Stone that he thinks the diva could use some counseling. Bellows Clef:
“I felt sorry for her, because I think she needs psychiatric help. I felt like she’s bipolar. You can’t get angry with someone who’s sick…So I even called her mom, and I stressed to her, ‘Yo, you need to get her psychiatric help.’ But I think they all fear her to death. She wasn’t always like this – but if someone has the ego and you keep feeding the ego, it’s going to turn monstrous.“
While the third Fugee in the equation, Pras, has never been shy about telling the press exactly what he thinks is wrong with Lauryn, Wyclef has been at least slightly more discrete. Perhaps he’s finally given up on the dream of the Fugees reunion. Maybe he’s really concerned for his former bandmate. Or it could be that he’s just really desperate for attention, what with his new album sitting on shelves, and all. [New York Post]
Lots of prep work has gone into the solidification of the Martin Luther King, Jr National Memorial on the Mall in Washington, DC. All that’s needed is a final chunk of change to help get the whole thing built. When it’s complete, a tribute to the great man’s ideas regarding equality and peace will be closely situated to those praising other American thinkers, such as Lincoln and Jefferson.
An array of performers have bonded together to help secure these project funds – The Dream Concert is a superstar deal that takes place in New York on Tuesday, September 18. Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Carlos Santana, Ludacris, John Legend, Babyface, Usher, Garth Brooks, Wycliffe Jean, Joss Stone, Talib Kweli, Robin Thicke, Whoopi Goldberg, Magic Johnson, and several others will take the stage for the cause.
Check back on Wednesday. We’ll have some post-show pics for you. Which artist would you most like to see yourself? Hit “Comments.”
The Fugees‘ reunion finally has been put out of its misery. The regrouping of hip-hop’s one-time most-loved collective has been sputtering with infrequent appearances and half-hearted promises of a new record since Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean and Pras kicked it off during the filming of Dave Chappelle‘s Block Party in September 2004. Pras has gone on record to officially slay the slow-moving and temperamental beast that the Fugees have become:
“We went in the studio and recorded a couple records that were incredible. But, to put it nicely, it’s dead. Me and Clef, we on the same page, but Lauryn is in her zone, and I’m fed up with that s***. Here she is, blessed with a gift, with the opportunity to rock and give and she’s running on some bulls***? I’m a fan of Lauryn’s but I can’t respect that.” [Billboard.com]
You might win some, but hip-hop just lost a big one.
Watch “Ready or Not”