by Wyclef JeanWyclef Jean


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On his third LP, Masquerade, Wyclef Jean updates the rock and world music-infused sound of his two previous solo albums,Carnival and Ecleftic: Two Sides of a Book, with a more streetwise East Coast rap sound. The disc's pirate-radio theme drives home Clef's bid for underground credibility, and while the irrepressively inventive Haitian isn't about to buckle down and embrace hip-hop orthodoxy, there's enough rhyme talent to silence the doubters. Clef spouts positive lyrics such as, "Put the fire arms away/Cause we don't want no confrontation," on the Wu-Tang Clan-reminiscent "Peace God," with its Crouching Tiger-inspired sample and pays his respects to fallen rappers Biggie Smalls and Tupac, R&B princess Aaliyah, and WTC victims on his reggae-tinged version of Bob Dylan's "Knockin' On Heaven's Door." He even recruits hard-rock Brooklyn rap crew M.O.P. on the sparsely arranged, visceral title track. Using the fictitious radio station HOT 93.1 (significant because his father passed away on 9/3/01) as a platform for his urban tales, the former Fugee frontman travels through the "PJ's" (slang for the projects) on the piano-and-breakbeat-ridden track followed by a chorusless lyrical assault "80 Bars," on which Clef's clever rhymes are pushed to the fore. Showing, however, that he hasn't completely lost his pop sensibilities, Wyclef is joined by Claudette Ortiz -- of his protégés City High -- on the hip-hop soul track "Two Wrongs," while '60s icon Tom Jones updates his hit "What's New, Pussycat?," reimagined by Clef as a shout-out to ladies of all shapes and sizes. With its 22 thought-provoking tracks, Masquerade reveals Clef's depth and range as an artist and producer -- even when he's trying to limit his creative excesses, it seems that Jean's got more ideas in the tips of his dreads then most rappers have in their whole head. Now who's the real ghetto superstar?

Product Details

Release Date: 08/05/2008
Label: Imports
UPC: 5099750785423
catalogNumber: 1401592
Rank: 189028

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Wyclef Jean   Primary Artist,Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals
Yami Bolo   Vocals
Robert Aaron   Keyboards,Saxophone
Mary Brown   Background Vocals
Butch Cassidy   Vocals
Donald Guillaume   Drums
Andy Grassi   Overdubs
Felipe Luciano   Vocals
M.O.P.   Vocals
Teflon   Keyboards,Background Vocals
Peter Wade   Overdubs
Corey Rooney   Strings
Jerry "Wonda" Duplessis   Bass
Miri Ben-Ari   Violin
Governor   Vocals,Background Vocals
Bumpy Knuckles   Vocals
Big E   Vocals
Claudette Ortiz   Vocals
Erick Edwards   Vocals
Jennifer Hamady   Vocals,Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Kevin Myers   Engineer
Teflon   Producer
Wyclef Jean   Producer,Executive Producer,Score
Corey Rooney   Producer
Jerry "Wonda" Duplessis   Producer,Executive Producer
Julian Alexander   Art Direction
Farel Jean   Executive Producer
Evan Rossiter   Engineer
Jessica Harley   Executive Producer

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