I have never been a big fan of reggae music, or house on a steady diet; however, Bob Marley is one of my all-time favorites. I can’t explain that to you, but he is. And I have always been a huge fan of Wyclef Jean, more so as a
solo artist than as part of the Fugees, the three-person entourage that also featured Praz, Wyclef’s cousin, and
Lauryn Hill. His various collaborations with stars like Whitney Houston, Carlos Santana, R. Kelly and Destiny’s Child have been huge successes, solidifying Wyclef’s reputation as a history-making, hit-cranking, chart-topping superstar who’s equally impressive writing his own music as he is producing someone else’s material. Following the release of his latest album,
The Preacher’s Son, we’re quickly running out of adjectives to describe this multi-talented brother from Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti.
One of this disc’s finest cuts is “Baby Daddy,” with a vivid funk vibe and select lyrics that’ll instantly lure you onto the dance floor. It’s somewhat shocking that “Party to Damascus,” an energetic mover featuring an extremely hyped Missy Elliott, was chosen as a song title given the war situation and where Damascus is located, but that’s Wyclef for you. Also included is a remix of “Party to Damascus,” and you know the way hip-hop plays you: there will be a couple of profanity pieces for the streets in you. Infidelity rears its ugly head on “Linda,” the mid-tempo selection that finds a man out on the prowl while the betrayed Linda, who’s finally had enough, is strapped and ready to extract some murderous revenge. Remember the woman who ran her husband over in the parking lot? Same song, different lyrics. “Take Me As I Am” is another nice track, giving credit to a spouse or significant other who’s always been there even when things weren’t great, showing appreciation for her acceptance of whatever, whenever, and allowing Wyclef to be who he is without compromise.
This CD features a collection of talent, including appearances by Patti LaBelle, Cassidy, Santana, Mobb Deep, Rah Digga, Monica and Scarface. Looks like a greatest hits album, but it’s all Wyclef Jean.
~Lynn Tolliver, jr.