Dec 102009

I read this in today’s Washington Post account of Obama’s Nobel peace prize speech and just about did a spit-take:

… Speaking before an audience of 1,000 that included Norway’s royal family and top government officials, as well as entertainment icons Will Smith and Wyclef Jean…

Will somebody please explain how and why washed-up rapper Wyclef Jean manages to show up at gigs like this? I have been flummoxed by his red carpet magnetism for years now. I just don’t get it. I mean, I understand how he could hoodwink today’s aging rock star set into thinking he’s got hip-hop street cred or something, that he’s the 21st-century version of KRS-One. So I understand why he shows up at things like U2 concerts, or benefits hosted by Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt. But what the fuck is he doing at the Nobel peace prize awards? Or at the UN? Or at — hell, I don’t know, the Hague or the International Space Station, or wherever they’ll invite him next? And why does he get invited to these things in the first place?

I want answers!


  12 Responses to “What I Gotta Do to Get Wyclef Jean’s Job?”

  1. Mr. Moderator

    What was that GRAMMY-award winning band that sampled a Sly and the Family Stone song and that was REALLY popular for about 3 weeks? Their videos featured multi-generational African American band members who’d probably gone through some kind of “Fame” school for the performing arts yet who danced around in overalls on flatbed trucks with bails of hay. Anyhow, the lead guy from that band must be killing himself for having the misfortune to have peeked a few years too soon. He would have been much more qualified to fill this role.

    And what’s become of Sinbad? Is Wyclef Jean the Sinbad of Rock? The African American Tony Danza?

  2. Wow, you totally hit a nerve for me with this. Really, what is it about this guy? There was a letter written to a recording mag (maybe EQ or Electronic Musician, can’t recall) I wish I had saved. It said Wyclef was famous for saying, “1 time, 2 time” in a bad cover version of “Killing Me Softly.” Frankly, I don’t see what makes that version of “killing…” any more significant than the cover of “Lean On Me” by the Timex Social Club. So I echo the above sentiments.

  3. Mod,

    The group was Arrested Development

  4. Maybe he stole the invite out of’s mailbox.

  5. Mr. Moderator

    Man, I seriously forgot that Wyclef Jean and are two different people!

  6. misterioso

    “What was that GRAMMY-award winning band that sampled a Sly and the Family Stone song and that was REALLY popular for about 3 weeks?”

    Those were the the Fudgies, no?

  7. Wyclef wrote and performed “Bubblegoose” for South Park and Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie” among tons of other hit songs (Fugees, Bono, Destany’s Child, Mary J Blige). He is one of the very few rapper/producer types that has real talent (and that I like) He swears by Hendrix, Santana, Marley as his inspiration (and love of weed)

    I would let him write and produce my CD any day of the week (and is not fit to be his assistant or hold his bong)

  8. Maybe so, but jumped on the Obama bandwagon in a big way and pulled ScarJo up there with him!

  9. Mr. Moderator

    I’m still hurting for Speech, of Arrested Development. I just saw this note on his solo Wikipedia page:

    Speech toured with US Vice President Al Gore and First Lady Hillary Clinton in the South during the 1996 United States Presidential election. Speech was also invited to and attended the inaugural celebrations.

    So it’s not like the man wasn’t headed in this ground-breaking direction. Visionary!

  10. dbuskirk

    Wyclef Jean stays in the spotlight because he is deeply connected to the coup that overthrew the democratically elected Jean-Betrand Aristide. He likes to talk aobut bringing stability to Haiti by “bringing jobs” but that is just code to say he is for the international business interests who have kept Haiti the most oppressive state in the hemisphere. Our history in Haiti is disgraceful, we never forgave them for taking control of the country following the slave revolt in the late 1700’s.

  11. Mr. Moderator

    db, that’s impressive! Maybe this was known by others, but I would never have thought that we’d arrive at this point in the Wyclef Jean discussion.

  12. dbuskirk

    Yeah, Wyclef and Jeff Skunk Baxter need to collaborate together on something, a record or an imperialist coup or something…

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