Indiana Daily Student

Wyclef to headline hip-hop lineup

For Wyclef Jean, life seems to be all about moving up in the world. Formerly one-third of The Fugees, the hip-hop visionary is now promoting his successful solo career as well as taking on many extracurricular projects, including his new record label, Clef Records.\n"You can see the maturity and the growth of Wyclef, and it's just the the next level," he told MTV in September. "All I keep doing is bringing it up to new levels and levels."\nPart of Wyclef's growth included the release of his second solo effort, The Ecleftic -- Two Sides II A Book. \nAn MTV Campus Invasion Tour promoting his new album will sweep though the IU Auditorium 7:30 p.m. Sunday. For the first time, MTV has added hip-hop flavor to the typically rock-based concert, with Wyclef headlining and the Black-Eyed Peas and De La Soul in the mix as well. \n"I'm the King of Colleges," Wyclef said. "There's not a college I haven't invaded. MTV is going to get the most craziest footage. There ain't nothing like a bunch of college kids -- they're stressed out, and they need a concert, so we're going to bring it to them."\nUnion Board booked the tour, spicing up the entertainment scene on campus by adding something a little funkier than usual.\n"It's definitely a different direction for the local music scene," said junior Vaughn Allen, Union Board public relations director. "It was a challenge to pull together. But it's worthwhile to have the artistic variety of this caliber."\nWyclef promises an unforgettable show. \n"For 'Smoking Grooves' I came out with a lion called Simba," he said. "That was two years ago. It was this gigantic lion that freaked everybody out. So for this tour, I ain't saying that I'm bringing out any wild animals on the stage, but anything can happen." \nWyclef "Clef" Jean, the son of a minister, was born in Haiti but moved to New York at age 9. In high school, he began performing with his cousins as the rap group Tranzlater Crew, later called The Fugees. Aside from a successful rapping career and guitar playing skills, Wyclef has also produced songs and albums for many artists, such as Whitney Houston and Carlos Santana. With his newly acquired record label, he will preside over, sign and produce new talent.\nBack in 1997, Wyclef released his first solo album, The Carnival. The album, though well received by critics and fans, seemed only to throw fuel on the fire of The Fugees' demise. With solo records from Wyclef and Lauren Hill, the group slowly disintegrated, and while they still claim to be a band, provocative lyrics and recent legal battles may have ruined the chance for another record. \nWhile their fate is still up in the air, Wyclef has continued to pursue his solo career. Three years later he has put out his sophomore effort, The Ecleftic. \n"What I wanted to do with Ecleftic is touch base once again," he said. " I wanted to go back to my hip-hop formula, but bring a whole lot of music with it. So this is the next level of Wyclef."\nA self-proclaimed "prodigy from the hood," Wyclef is all about "next levels." His second album has been nearly as commercially successful as the first. \nIt's also garnered critical acclaim.\n"Clef's second solo album is the most pleasingly direct yet musically adventurous hip-hop long-player you're likely to hear all year," said Rolling Stone.\nBillboard Magazine also praised Wyclef's sophomore release. \n"Throughout, Jean appears to be an open book with many chapters," said the Billboard review. "The Ecleftic is full of many surprising guest stars, including Kenny Rogers, WWF superstar The Rock and Mary J. Blige. Although not as cohesive as Carnival, his second release spins a compelling tale of a hip-hop superstar who defies convention."\nStaff writer Joseph S. Pete contributed to this story.

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