Concert Review: Wyclef Jean Turns It Up at B.B. Kings

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.

I guess something happens in your 40s – you realize that you have to work a little harder to stay as fit and fly as you were in your 20s and 30s, and it doesn’t hurt to enlist some help in such endeavors. Although I’ve been training with my girl Nicole Chaplin for several months, I only found out a few weeks ago that she also trained Wyclef. For Wyclef in particular, the goal he wanted to achieve with Nicole’s help was to boost his stamina, so as to maintain his high energy level while performing. For some, a celebrity endorsement goes a long way in terms of creating cred in the fitness world, but for me Nicole’s text inviting me to hang with her and members of Wyclef’s camp at his show went a long way in terms of showing me just how great she is, in and out of the gym.

All of Wyclef’s work in the gym with Nicole is paying off. The gray and white striped three-piece suit he came out onto the B.B. King stage in wasn’t wearing him, he wore it. Well. Clef opened the show with the Fugees classic “Ready or Not” and delighted the mixed crowd with a verse in English, Spanish, French and Japanese. For his second song the Haitian sensation donned his custom “Gattar” and performed the Bob Marley classic “No Woman No Cry.” Not one to reign in his excitement or enthusiasm for performing to live crowds, Wyclef greeted the audience with, “I know ya’ll miss me in New York. It’s been a minute since you had a real show. There’s mad females in the house and they all looking good. Fellas do not disrepect the girls, I have guys in the audience who will f&%k you up if you do. Now turn it up!!”And the energy got turned up steadily in the building as Clef performed “The Sweetest Girl” and “Hips Don’t Lie.” I squealed in delight as Wyclef brought a white guy onstage and ordered him to whine (that’s the Caribbean version of a twerk). When Clef started to play his “Guttar” with his teeth, I shook my head in awe and homage.

[Photo Credit: Getty Images]

Wyclef also showcased on the B.B. Kings stage three of his new featured artists who will be joining the music man on his summer tour – Angelica Salem, Jarina De Marco, and Hannah Eggen. They pleased the crowd, but Wyclef’s celebrity surprise guests won the night as they pumped the crowd up and made the show a party. Brooklyn-bred rappers Uncle Murda and Papoose each took their time to shine on the stage, setting the right vibe for Prodigy of Mobb Deep to knock it out the box with his performance of “Shook Ones.” Wyclef shared a heartfelt moment with Prodigy onstage as he acknowledged their “OG” status in the hip-hop game. But as Wyclef brought Waka Flocka out and the two performed their radio-friendly song “Trap N Roll” off Clef’s new April Showers mixtape, it was clear that this OG’s still got a few new tricks up his pec-packing sleeve.

Wyclef made his love for his fellow Haitians clear throughout the night as he brought the National Haitian Soccer Team onto the stage and waived the Haitian flag like it was Carnival or the West Indian Day Parade. Also made clear Wednesday night at B.B. Kings is that Wyclef is a fan of all types of music, so you can’t put this Haitian boy who grew up in the hood but listened to all types of music coming up in a musical box, because it just won’t hold him. Clef performed Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” just to prove that point. As much as Wyclef loves music, it’s evident that he also loves to have fun, which the whole crowd joined in on as a gang of females took to the stage (including Nicole) to dance as Clef performed his new tune “Pop Ya Belly Ring.” I didn’t pop it and drop it, in case you’re wondering. Looking, listening, and writing – that’s my box. And it fits me just fine.


[Photo Credit: Nicole Chaplin]

For more on Wyclef’s new mixtape April Showers and his summer tour, go to wyclef.com.

Quote of the Night: “There’s a whole lot of superstars but there’s only one motherf*%kin’ Wyclef Jean!”

In the Building: Charlamagne the God, Kangol Kid from UTFO, Fred the Godson

RELATED: K. Foxx Stars In Wyclef’s Music Video

RELATED: Wyclef On VH1’s Soul Stage

[Cover Art Credit: Wikipedia]