Wyclef Jeans Teams Up With DJ Drama for New Novel-like EP
Wyclef Jean has announced plans to release his latest project, 'From the Hut to the Projects to the Mansion,' next month. Originally intended to follow a mixtape format, the EP is inspired by historical Haitian figure Toussaint L'Ouverture, leader of the Haitian revolution in the late 18th century and the driving force behind the country's fight for independence.
Wyclef explained that the album's lyrical alter ego, Toussaint St. Jean, is based on L'Ouverture's spirit and will express a firmer point of view than Wyclef himself usually would. "Toussaint is more direct," he said. "He ain't going to sugarcoat nothing. Whatever he's thinking, he's going to tell you. It's like, I've still got this machete -- my tongue is sharper than it's ever been."
In light of his decision to make a more raw and powerful album, Clef sought out the help of DJ Drama to produce the 'From the Hut ...' EP. "I asked myself, 'Who's the toughest guy out there?' Then I said, 'Well, DJ Drama is pretty badass,'" he explained. "So, I called him and asked if he'd be interested in doing a mixtape. He heard what I was up to and he said, 'We gotta do a book -- this is a novel!' He got excited, and it became more like an EP than a mixtape."
To add a range of sound to the concept album, Clef also enlisted the help of Eve, Timbaland, Lil Kim and even '80s star Cyndi Lauper, who takes on the alter ego of "Luscious Loo," on the track "Slumdog Millionaire."
'From the Hut to the Projects to the Mansion,' will be released November 10, followed by Wyclef's next full-length studio album, 'Wyclef Jean,' which will is due in March 2010.