Indiana Daily Student

Wyclef Jean helps students unwind, have fun

It's midterm week at IU. But if anyone went to the IU Auditorium Sunday night stressed about grades or exams, they didn't leave feeling the same way. They heeded Wyclef's words of wisdom.\nIt doesn't matter.\nUnion Board brought MTV's Campus Invasion Tour to Bloomington, showcasing Black-Eyed Peas, De La Soul and Wyclef Jean. Black-Eyed Peas kicked off the show with a high-energy, bass-bumping set. The group opened their set with "Bringin' It Back," instantly getting the crowd on their feet. \nThey're not incredibly well-known, but they had no trouble getting the energy flowing in the auditorium. The group took a slightly jazzy switch with "Joints and Jam," a song that made one want to snap one's fingers rather than throw one's hands up. Not letting things settle down for long, they launched into another beat, complete with breakdancing by all three group members -- undoubtedly the highlight of their set. They closed with "Weekend," the first single from their recently released sophomore album and threw several tapes and cassettes out into the audience.\nDe La Soul took the stage next, and, while it maintained their energy level in the crowd, it was disappointing in comparison to the Peas. While they do get some credit for keeping the audience involved throughout their set -- dividing the audience into halves and using each sides' noise level to decide "where the party was" -- their sound was a little garbled and nearly impossible to understand at times. \nThe most well-received song was probably "Oooh," the band's newest single; because of radio-airplay, the audience sang along here and there. It took the audience "way back in the century" with "Me, Myself, and I," probably the biggest hit off its first album Three Feet High and Rising and picked up its set a little bit with "Stakes Is High," but it still seemed a little tired and just slightly past their prime. \nBut it doesn't matter.\nAfter a brief intermission, music again began to play. The crowd got excited but still had to wait a little longer for Wyclef -- he built anticipation with a show-off, shirt-stripping DJ spinning popular hip-hop songs and a video featuring Wyclef on a refugee raft declaring "I'm gonna' take over." The movie stopped, and Wyclef burst through the screen -- at long last. He started off with "No Woman, No Cry," an acoustic Marley cover that first appeared on the Fugees' The Score. \nHe mellowed out the crowd but immediately got them dancing around to a Fugees medley, encouraging them to sing Lauryn Hill's vocal parts and warming them up to songs they knew by heart. He did part of a new song, "Where Fugees At?" rapping about the "bling-bling," then abruptly stopping and starting "It Doesn't Matter." Both these songs are from his new album, The Ecleftic, 2 Sides II a Book, which was what he was supposed to be promoting. \nBut it doesn't matter.\nClef didn't seem to care about selling records. He didn't seem concerned with talking up the new album or any selfish causes. The show was full of feel-good moments, including one where he praised his brother for trading in his job as a drug-dealer for a more reputable management position. Wyclef promised students stress relief; and he made good on his word. The show started off similar to other concerts, but once Wyclef got warmed up things started changing. His most well-known song, "Gone 'til November," had been given a face-lift. Instead of being "Gone 'til November," Clef sang that he'd be "Smokin' til November." OK, slightly risque, but who cares? \nIt doesn't matter. Stress relief, right? \nWyclef briefly turned the stage over to his sister, Melky Sedeck, who wowed the audience with a bit of a capella gospel. But Clef wasn't gone for long. He returned and upped the energy level another notch by addressing security. "Let me tell you guys something," he said. "I was a security guard once, too, and you guys ain't makin' no money. You're workin' for me." \nIn an effort to combat the ridiculously inappropriate venue, he then told everyone to get as close as they could to the stage. "They told me to be intimate," he said, "and y'all was just too far away." After a few more songs, Wyclef announced it was past his curfew and he had to leave, but after obvious disappointment from the crowd, he got a half-hour extension from the promoter. \nNext he played "911," which he dubbed the "official" college sex song. The song was sweet and slow, but, of course, he didn't let things stay this way for long. He did a snippet of a cover of Naughty By Nature's "OPP" before stopping the music altogether and instead having a dance contest with members of the audience. Clef didn't hesitate to get down with the competitors, several of whom he danced with and one of whom he took quite a liking to. \nSecurity and the auditorium staff were getting a little uncomfortable at this point, screaming at people to get off chairs (which lasted for all of 2 seconds, until they turned their backs) and back away from the stage. It's impossible to be sure, but it seemed that maybe Clef was encouraged to end his show (the dance contest ended abruptly). Maybe so.\nBut it doesn't matter.\nWyclef ended the show with "Knockin' on Heaven's Door," encouraging unity and peace among the human race. Whether he was forced to end his set or not, Clef did what he came to do. He promised some surprises, and he promised to de-stress the students. He did that and more. For a few hours, students put the stress of midterms, papers and whatever else was on their minds on the back burner. So maybe a few of the chairs in the auditorium have footprints on them.\nIt doesn't matter.

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