One of the hazards of celebrity is being confused with another famous person. And that’s just what happened to Wyclef Jean when some kid asked for his autograph, mistaking him for will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas. The erstwhile Fugee recalls the incident on the track “Warrior’s Anthem,” one of the cuts off his new album, From The Hut to the Projects to the Mansion, out today. The Music Mix hopes Wyclef cuffed the ignorant young whippersnapper behind his ear! “No,” he says, “I signed the autograph. But I said, ‘I am not will.i.am!'”
Wyclef explains that he made the CD, a collaboration with mixtape producer DJ Drama, to inform young listeners (and remind older ones), that the musician and producer is also a rapper. That means, in part, adopting the alter-ego of “Toussaint St. Jean,” a nod to the 18th-century Haitian revolutionary Toussaint L’Ouverture. “It was very important to go back to the basic fundamentals,” he says. “It’s important [for people to realize], ‘Oh, damn, despite everything—we see him shaking his hips with Shakira, he write all of these big songs—his fundamentals are hip hop music.’ I wanted to remind people.”
After the break, Wyclef reveals more about his new album, the one after that, and the “hood”-friendly nature of Cyndi Lauper.