The musical journey of Wyclef Jean is steeped in constant reinvention and the dismissal of convention. When hip-hop was strictly two turntables and a mic, Wyclef proudly hopped on the scene with a guitar in hand. Though The Fugees’ 1993 debut Blunted On Reality flopped in every sense of the word, the group were redeemed with the monster smash, The Score . The record was instrumental in bringing hip hop into the mainstream, and launched the Jersey trio into the pop stratosphere.
But nothing was more unconventional than the world party on wax known as The Carnival, a concept album that fused genres and sonic elements from around the globe into one harmonious union. The Carnival would not only cement Jean as an artist, but would also serve as his coming out party as a producer. His production chops would lead to historical works with Santana, Destiny’s Child, Shakira, Whitney Houston, and many more.
Watch Wyclef’s transformation from the preacher’s son to global music ambassador in an all new edition of Playback. Here he relives his artistic life and times, reveals why only Dave Chappelle possesses the power to resurrect The Fugees, and how discovery is the name of the game when it comes to good music.
Be sure to stay tuned for future episodes of Playback where music’s most influential names reflect on their creative evolution, and reveal the science behind their hit-making ways.