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: What do you think of what Rev. Wright said? Will it hurt Obama in Pennsylvania?
Wyclef Jean: Yeah. I mean that’s a good question, what do I think about Reverend Wright and what he said. Reverend Wright served in the military, correct? Was he a Marine? Right? Reverend Wright has seen what he has seen. He has what’s called freedom of speech. Do I speak like Reverend Wright? No. Do Obama speak like Reverend Wright? No. Reverend Wright speaks like Reverend Wright. He speaks as he speaks as Obama speaks as he speaks.
Obama has his views, I have my views, you understand? So meanwhile, while people are saying, you know, Obama don’t have a chance in Pennsylvania because, you know -- you know, people will vote for Hillary because of the Reverend Wright, I would just say if we’re gonna put everything out, let’s just put everything out. So you have two things to weigh here. I ain’t no political advisor, but let me give you a little logic. Reverend Wright controversy- fire under snipers. So you weigh it. Fires under snipers, Reverend Wright <laugh> controversy.
Now, really think about what you’re really saying; and if I was you, I will vote for something that’s honest and that’s not portraying something else at the time and purely just talking about what’s out there that we all talk about, we see it in the media, it’s clear. You understand what I’m saying?
Question: Were Rev. Wright’s remarks racist?
Wyclef Jean: Well, I think that, you know, certain remarks that Reverend Wright made were racist remarks, but they were racist on what he’s seen. You understand? I don’t feel that he’s a racist. I felt that they were remarks made on the racist issues that he’s seen coming up. So it’s like, you know, do I think he’s a racist? No. Does he -- well, if he’s not a racist, Clef, why did he make these racist remarks? These remarks are made on situations with portrayed racism. Like, they’re out there. So he’s speaking the same way that someone else speak, but they won’t necessarily speak out and say it.