Lead Fugees rapper and sometime guitarist Wyclef Jean was the first member of his group to embark on a solo career, and he proved even more ambitious and eclectic on his own. As the Fugees hung in limbo, Wyclef also became hip-hop's unofficial multicultural conscience; a seemingly omnipresent activist, he assembled or participated in numerous high-profile charity benefit shows for a variety of causes, including aid for his native Haiti.
The utopian one-world sensibility that fueled Wyclef's political consciousness also informed his recordings, which fused hip-hop with as many different styles of music as he could get his hands on (though, given his Caribbean roots, reggae was a particular favorite). In addition to his niche as hip-hop's foremost global citizen, Clef was also a noted producer and remixer who worked with an impressive array of pop, R&B, and hip-hop talent, including Whitney Houston, Santana, and Destiny's Child, among many others.
Question: Is Obama really the post-racial candidate?
Wyclef Jean: I think that when people look at Obama, they have to stop saying, “Okay, it’s a race,” you know what I mean? Because what happens is when you look at Obama, he’s a man. So it’s like when you look at someone, you gotta get, you know, past the level. Like, look at the debates. He’s an educated man. He has the gift of speaking to people. He has the gift of going anywhere around the world and actually being in a room with someone and looking at them in the eyes and having a conversation. What I love most about Obama -- and this is why you all gotta get past this whole race shit, period, Clef said so. What I love most about Obama is Obama says, “We gotta get off this high horse that we on and start to deal with things direct.” And I think to move forward as a race and as people, we have to start doing that.