Multi-platinum recording artist and Grammy winner Wyclef Jean was in Philly last week releasing his new boots, helping clean up classrooms in West Philadelphia and promoting his newest record, Toussaint St. Jean: From the Hut, to the Projects, to the Mansion, which has been flying on the shelves since its release on Tuesday, Nov. 10.
Lucky for us the hip hop humanitarian stopped by the station to fill us in on what he's been up to, his favorite Philly artists and what we can expect from his newest album (and trust us, with the collabo's on this one, you don't want to miss it).
You're in town to release the Yéle Haiti by Timberland, what's the story behind your new boot?
The C.E.O. of Timberland Jeff Swartz saw what we were doing with the Yéle movement. Basically we got together -- Timberland's about tree planting -- and we came up with this initiative and made a boot. For every boot that's sold $2 goes back to tree planting in Haiti.
You go to the Dominican Republic and see how green it is, then you go to Haiti and you see it's dry. So the idea is to restart a tree program and just start planting trees again.
We want people to know, it's a fly boot, of course, it's the Timberland design, but when you see the ones with Yéle Haiti, you know that you're actually getting something and it's all going back to the environment. And they're eco-friendly.
We know you've collaborated with Timberland, but musically, what's you're favorite collaboration?
(With a little coaxing from the interviewee): Mary J., "9-11"
Can we ever look forward to a Fugees reunion?
I never say never, because at the end of the day, without the Fugees I would've never had the legacy that I've had. That's why we push hard and we keep going real hard out there. I think if the Fugees come back, we'd definitely be successful. It's not like we all disappeared out of the limelight completely. I'm the last man standing, the general, il capitano, so if they're ready, I'm ready.
Who's your favorite Philly artist?
My favorite Philly artist would have to be Patti LaBelle. You know, I grew up with the vibe, I love singers from the church.
She's first, and then automatically, my second favorite would be The Roots. I think they're a band that represents the Jazz-era and I think that the band is going to go down in history for leaving their mark on hip hop music worldwide. So when you're talking about hip-hop band, you're talking about The Roots and that's what makes them untouchable. You've never seen a band quite like them.
Did you go out for the final game of the World Series (he was in town the night New York won the Series)?
Come on, of course. I've been collecting baseball cards since I was a baby. I still got baseball cards in my crib. Should I give Philly a hug for their loss? (I took one for the team).
Sorry baby, New York! I love y'all Philly, but y'all know what it is!
Give us one thing that Philly does not know about you?
I can't swim. They'll be like 'Yo, he's from the Islands, throw him in the water." And I'll be like 'Man, y'all don't want to do that, I'll drown.'