Wyclef talks about connecting with a new generation of fans with his new project "April Showers", as well as collaborating with younger artists like Waka Flocka Flame, and creating the new genre of "Trap 'N Roll".
While Wyclef Jean was a very prominent artist in the 90s, his presence in hip hop has been rather small as of late. The former Fugee has announced his comeback mixtape, April Showers, and hopes to reach a new generation of fans with his upcoming project. In an interview with MTV, Clef opened up about proving himself as an emcee, and working with younger artists like 2 Chainz, and Waka Flocka, the latter of which he claims to have created an entirely new genre with.
"It was important to start off with a mixtape because if a kid sees me who's about 15 or 16 [years old], he'll be like, 'Oh that's the guy who ran for president,' or 'That's the guy who sings 'Hips Don't Lie' with Shakira,' " said Clef. "It was important that they know that I'm an MC first. A lot of kids will get a chance to discover why I was called the '80 bars king.'
"When I heard Waka, I just thought of Run DMC and Aerosmith when they [recorded] 'Walk This Way,' " said Wyclef on the self-proclaimed "first punk rapper".
"Waka's voice just sounds like when I listen to a Metallica record. He has that chain of command, so I had an idea. [I wondered] what would happen if we took trap music and put it against rock music, so it would be my guitar against trap — what would that sound like? If we took all of that, melted it together and then we put the two W's together ... what kinda fusion, scientifically, would happen?"
Apparently the combination is like nothing we've heard before. "It's the first of its kind, and it's crazy," Clef added. "We did a few records, but this right here is gonna just have people saying, 'OK, this is a whole 'nother combination.' "
We'll have to see if the "Trap 'N Roll" will successfully connect with a new generation of fans, or simply find Clef showing his age and disconnect from the current state of rap more than ever. Either way Wyclef is excited by his new collaborators, and plans to bring them out of their comfort zone.
"For me, what's interesting is that when the younger artists come to work with me, they're not looking for what they have. They're looking to get out of the box and just do something totally different. To me, that's always what's exciting."