Influences: Wyclef Jean

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Guysanto
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Influences: Wyclef Jean

Post by Guysanto » Tue Dec 11, 2007 4:51 pm

Influences: Wyclef Jean

http://nymag.com/arts/popmusic/features/41264/

* By Sara Cardace
* Published Nov 25, 2007

Once again, you've kind of raked in the collaborators here.

This album means so much to me—it's like Bob Marley's Exodus or Marvin Gaye's What's Going On. I was so excited about everybody that came and worked on the album. For me, it's like a cast: I'm Gershwin, and this is my Porgy and Bess.

You've got Norah Jones, T.I., Paul Simon…

T.I. co-executived on the album, and it was good to have the new blood of the new generation. And to have Paul Simon on the same record was the whole idea—putting everyone together. Paul Simon is genius; I was in awe being in the studio with him.

You've collaborated with so many artists over the years. Has anyone left a particularly lasting impression?

Shakira was incredible. She was like, “The song's not a hit until it makes my hips move!” As a young guitarist, I was in awe of Carlos Santana. Mary J. Blige just goes in and knocks out the song in two takes.

The new album's name is The Carnival II (Memoirs of an Immigrant). Tell me about your childhood in Haiti.

I was born in a small place called Lessere, outside of the city of Croix-des-Bouquets. All I can remember is hard rain falling, no clothes on, jumping around in the rain, singing. In the church, they played Nazarene music, which was like gospel music, but from the island. On the street, there were always the forbidden drums, and they'd warn you to be careful of the drums or the bogeyman would come and get you. I didn't have any instruments at the time, so I would play sticks on rocks and just create songs and go crazy.

How did your life change when you moved to Brooklyn?

It was like day and night. The small village I was raised in didn't have electricity—no light, no nothing. My parents came and got me when I was 9, and I can still remember what it was like to see those headlights. Landing at JFK for the first time, can you imagine? I looked out the window and couldn't see nothing but lights. They were so glaring that I said to my brother, “Man, we've arrived in the city of diamonds. This place is so rich, it's nothing but diamonds on the floor!”

Your father was a pastor. Did you have a very religious upbringing?

Definitely. My parents never knew I listened to hip-hop. When I first came to America, I was always sneaking out, going over to my friend's house next door to listen to the music. Later on, I gave a crack fiend $3 for a CD player and it had one of those little radio transistors in it, so I would hide in the bathroom listening to 98.7 Kiss-FM. I loved Run-DMC because they really used to put me in a place and a time. I also listened to LL Cool J, Public Enemy, and of course KRS-One and Rakim.

How did your time with the Fugees influence the way you make music?

Khalis Bayyan from Kool & the Gang produced the first album, and I learned so much watching him in the studio. In the back of my mind I was thinking, I know I can do this, but I'm hearing it differently in my head.

What about books?

One of biggest books in my life is the Book of Exodus. You read that one?

No…

No? It's in the Bible! Well, that book shows that no matter what you're going through, you can overcome it. A lot of times people sit around complaining, but the Book of Exodus shows us that if you want something to happen, you gotta go do it yourself. The Celestine Prophecy is similar.

Do you have a favorite movie?

My favorite movie is Black Orpheus. Do me a favor, okay? Please go see that. It's very cinematic and raw. I think what makes a great movie is when you can feel the culture and the sun and the people and the vibe inside the lens. Another movie I love is Once Upon a Time in America. I fell in love with that movie because of the score. You can imagine—I'm a kid supposed to be watching the movie, and instead I'm listening to the score.

And guilty pleasures?

I'm a great porn collector. The best porn ever is Sweetest Taboo. You ever seen it? That's a good one. I probably have over 5,000 pornos.

Really?! Where do you keep them all?

In my basement. I collected them through the years. I don't lie about anything; I think if someone has a porn collection, they have a porn collection. I know people who say they don't have a porn collection, but when they get up in hotels they run them bills wild! They might want to call me and I could rent them a few.


The Carnival II (Memoirs of an Immigrant) comes out December 4.

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Post by Guysanto » Wed Dec 12, 2007 10:00 am

[quote]And guilty pleasures?

I'm a great porn collector. The best porn ever is Sweetest Taboo. You ever seen it? That's a good one. I probably have over 5,000 pornos.

Really?! Where do you keep them all?

In my basement. I collected them through the years. I don't lie about anything; I think if someone has a porn collection, they have a porn collection. I know people who say they don't have a porn collection, but when they get up in hotels they run them bills wild! They might want to call me and I could rent them a few.
[/quote]
The interview about Wyclef's musical influences was both informative and interesting up to the point of the clip above. After that, it was merely astonishing. 5,000 pornos? How does he find time to play the music? But he obviously does, which means that the majority of those pornos are simply set aside like first-day cancelled stamps, foreign coins, pristine album covers, naive art pieces, etc. With a difference: contrary to their actual contents, those pornos surely constitute an ensemble of depreciating assets. Never to be reviewed by Fortune magazine. On that score, Wyclef would do much better with his collection of sports cars, not to mention the one with a built-in shark tank . Since The Museum of Sex is already thriving in Manhattan, I hope that Wyclef choose not to compete with it and focus instead on his dream of an assembly line of inexpensive but genuine sports cars, targeted to the 17+ hood. That achievement would cement his standing in hip hop history, whether he chooses or not to insert a porno from his personal collection in each glove compartment.

It's good to know that Wyclef cannot tell a lie. He is our "George Washington" in that regard. Substitute porno for the cherry tree. But did he actually have to come forward with that bit of personal information? I think not. At best, that was an unfortunate lapse of judgment. What Wyclef does in privacy is his own business. But when all eyes, particularly very young sets of eyes, are transfixed on you... hell, just lie and tell them that your "guilty pleasures" consist of performing random acts of kindness.

The sweetest taboo of all, Wyclef, is to lead a dignified life, in spite of all the craziness surrounding you and to shut up on occasion.

Frantz
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Post by Frantz » Wed Dec 12, 2007 12:09 pm

I was shocked to read that he "is a great porn collector". Who needed to know that much about his private collection? ..
He is doing great things in Haiti and I applaud his courage and commitment to help his countrymen. I am sure that, as an ambassador, he now knows that his words and actions are of utmost importance. May he continue to strive to higher goals!
frantz

Morisseau
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influences: Wyclef Jean

Post by Morisseau » Wed Dec 12, 2007 12:46 pm

As an official ambassador now, Clef must learn to better choose his words a little. Although i personally don't see anything wrong in telling the truth but one doesn't have to be so detailed about some truth that potentially can send the wrong message to our youth. What Clef does is what he does whether he tells us about it or not and whatever that is, it doesn't stop him from fully engaging himself positively to help shape a better image for his native country. Let's accept him as an imperfect guy (not Guy!!! lol) like us who's trying something positive and at the same time, let's remind him not to forget his huge and almost instant influence in an attempt to persuade him to keep his private life private. Can we agree on that?

Michel Nau
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Post by Michel Nau » Wed Dec 12, 2007 1:09 pm

He must be kidding when he made this confession. Nevertheless he said that he wasn't lying.
Athletes and entertainers have a tendency to amplify about their sexual encounters.
Wilt Chamberlain, one of the greatest basketball players, said in his book that he slept with more than 1,000 women.
No wonder these guys have so many babies out of wedlock… and they can afford them. Thanks to DNA testing, they can run, but they can not hide.

[Editor: I just saw and edited out the last part of Michel's comment. Come on, Michel, you have not posted in a long time and you came up with that? As for the rest of your comments, I don't see anywhere in that interview where Wyclef brags about his sexual encounters. Collecting porno tapes is one thing, having babies out of wedlock is quite another. So, your comments are truly irrelevant in the context of this discussion.]

Serge
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Post by Serge » Wed Dec 12, 2007 11:16 pm

I also find it unfortunate that Wyclef had to talk about things like that, precisely because of his position and the role model that he has become. All truths are not good to be said and he certainly could have chosen to talk about other things while still telling the truth. I am worried about those who will think that it is fashionable to say that he or she also collects porn movies. One thing leads to another.

Serge

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