Wyclef is a legend in the rap game. He’s a member of one of Our 10 Greatest Hip-Hop Groups of All Time, so why does he need to keep making records that appeal to the youth of today? Swagger. He says that’s the influence T.I. is having on ‘WyClef‘s forthcoming project, The Carnival II: Memoirs of an Immigrant.
“He taught me the swagger,” Wy’Clef said about T.I. “The generation where I’m from is very lyrical. In this generation, it’s all about the swagger. Sometimes you might be kicking an ill verse, and another cat will come in and tip his hat a certain way and say one word. So I added the swagger to my rebel music, and it’s working with this generation.
“He was one of the cats that really impacted me,” ‘Clef continued. “T.I. came and checked for me in an era where my music career was lukewarm. Even though I did the Shakira thing and it blew up, in the sector of hip-hop, people was like, ‘Does ‘Wy Clef still got it? Does he still do beats?’ ”
As you know, T.I. has been co-signing for ‘WyClef, getting a bevy of the refugee’s tracks for T.I. vs. T.I.P. Now Tip is co-executive producing Carnival II.
“When somebody like that tells you, ‘Yo, this is crazy,’ it’s almost like, ‘Maybe I can do this for another 10 years.’ When I went in the studio, I started playing him beats,” ‘Clef said. “Me, I can lay down 15 songs every half-hour. To find a young blood who’s so fast and so quick like that, I was impressed. I was thinking, ‘Do these artists really still exist?’ ‘Cause you hear these records, then you go to the studio and sometimes it takes people hours, days to lay verses. Not Tip.”
For Carnival‘s first single, the remix of “Sweetest Girls,” ‘Clef added Raekwon the Chef to the lineup that already included Akon and Lil Wayne.
“I’m always eclectic, since my first project,” ‘Clef described. “I think it’s way more accepted now. It was important that we don’t forget the generation the Fugees came from, like the Wu-Tang Clan. So getting Raekwon on the remix rhyming next to Akon and Weezy, I think it’s great.”