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Monday, September 25, 2023

Wyclef Jean: An Artist With A Mission

By Ardain Isma Jr.Special to CSMS MagazineBeing from Port-au-Prince and very well known throughout the world for bringing Haitian influences in the New York style of hip-hop, Wyclef is the unofficial ambassador of hip hop. And that has made not only New Yorkers or East-coasters proud, but also young generation of Haitians living anywhere in the United States. It is without question that Wyclef’s new fame has brought nothing but awe into the hearts of all sons of Haiti.              Wyclef’s 1997 critically acclaimed and commercial classic Carnival has put him right at the top of the hip-hop elite. Following up the carnival was the Ecleftic: two sides of a book. But that album was more of a commercial success than a critically acclaimed success. All of his other albums after that went Platinum, but lacked the touches of the other ones. Then for quite some time Wyclef’s career seemed to be faded.            Just when one thought his musical career was in regression, he came back with the chart- topping top-ten -smash single Hips don’t lie with Shakria. The song has been highly acclaimed, which has been rumored to be the next classic that will ultimately crown him to the throne of hip-hop music. “He has a dimension that most traditional American artists don’t have. He has a Caribbean flavor in all of his albums that makes his hip-hop music distinct. And the public does not seem to get enough of it,” said CBS-4 News.  Today, one has all the reasons to believe that Wyclef’s fame has reached its zenith.             To solidify his new fame, the long requested comeback of the Fugees, the group that ushered him to the top, is now a reality. And Wyclef has announced that their soon-to-be release album The Score will be a blockbuster. Most critics agree that it’s his new duet with the Colombian sensation Sharkira that helps to craft Wyclef ‘s dramatic comeback into the mainstream. Hips don’t lie is the number one requested song on both urban and Spanish oriented radios. But when the Haitian king of hip-hops squares with the Cumbia queen from Barranquilla, the result cannot be otherwise.  However, all the while Wyclef was out of the radar, he was in his native Haiti, helping out in relief efforts for victims of the last hurricane that hit the island lately. He has also been working hard on the upcoming Fugees album.Now Wyclef has one mission. His mission is to prove that Haitians have a place in this society. Every time he has a public performance or a video to shoot, or even a radio interview, he must wear his shirt with the Haitian flag and his Haitian Bandana tied firmly onto his head. In every interview, he speaks on how he is proud to be Haitian. He is relentless in his display of his Haitian heritage.Just last week he was on the NBC Today Show, talking about all the contributions he has made to social projects in his country. During the interview, he stated that he has opened learning centers for children throughout Haiti to help them with their schoolwork. Wyclef also said that he has been doing charity concerts with total proceeds going to those who suffer from poor health in Haiti. Wyclef, time and time again, has denounced the portraying of his native homeland in the media as a “War Zone” with people dying everyday.Wyclef says it is not that way at all. Wyclef says Haiti has ordinary people going to work and school just like people in the United States, but he also states that people in Haiti do crimes just like people in the United States. He believes in due time, people will learn the truth about Haiti and “all the negativity will cease to exist.” Wyclef is definitely a true Haitian soldier, a fighter that sets out to become the Haitian King in the hip-hop industry.Ardain Isma Jr. is a freshman at South Plantation High. He wrote this piece for CSMS 

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