Wyclef Shares Spotlight With Superstars On New CD
Originally expected Nov. 6, Wyclef Jean's new album, "Carnival II: Memoirs of an Immigrant," will now arrive Dec. 4 via Columbia.Originally expected Nov. 6, Wyclef Jean's new album, "Carnival II: Memoirs of an Immigrant," will now arrive Dec. 4 via Columbia. A host of high-profile guests appear, including Paul Simon, Norah Jones, will.i.am, Mary J. Blige, T.I. and System Of A Down's Serj Tankian.
"I always write music first and then I see who will fit perfectly. I don't know who will be on it until the very end," Jean tells Billboard.com. "I've got T.I. rhyming against acoustic guitars. I have Paul Simon on a dark hip-hop beat. I have Chamillionaire against a Bollywood orchestra. I'm just influenced by different songs and beats in the world."
The first single is "Sweetest Thing" and features Akon, T.I. and newcomer Niia. Other tracks include "Selena," a tribute to the late Mexican-American singer of the same name, on which Jean samples her hit single "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom"; "Riot" featuring Tankian and reggae artist Sizzla ("This is the only record I'm straight up rhyming on," says Wyclef); and "Slow Down" featuring T.I., which is in contention to be the next single.
"This track is about everything you see in the world now: Jena 6, Katrina, the war, the Crips, the Bloods, the Latin Kings," he says.
One artist fans can be certain won't be featured on the album is former Fugees member Lauryn Hill, about whom Jean has been recently quoted as saying "needs psychiatric help." "Who is that?" he replies when asked about the current status of their relationship. "I haven't spoken to her at all."
With the purchase of each CD, fans will automatically be entered in a raffle to win one of Jean's cars -- a $500,000 1932 Zebra. "I want to give back to those who helped me get rich," Jean says enthusiastically.
Jean, who is scheduled to work with Lil Wayne in the coming weeks, plans on embarking on an international promotional tour starting in January.