Wyclef Jean is criss-crossing the country on a book tour for his newly released memoir “Purpose: An Immigrant’s Story”. The Grammy-award winning rapper landed in Atlanta for an intimate evening with his fans and followers at The Shrine of the Black Madonna.
Wyclef gave a very in depth account of what it was like coming to America on the “iron bird”, growing up the son of a pastor and trying to fit in. As the daughter of immigrants myself, I totally relate to Wyclef’s journey. He spoke candidly about being the brunt of many jokes at the expense of his Haitian birthright, how he became a musician initially because he was a musician in his father’s church and how this experience along with street “battles” shaped his love for music and ultimately his career choice to become a rapper.
Wyclef also offered lots of insight as to why he ran to become president of Haiti. He said it was out of a sense “urgency” following the tragic 2010 earthquake. Afterall, he told his captive audience, being President of Haiti is the “worst job in the world”. Haitian presidents have an economy to fix and some have ended up exiled or even worse, assassinated. This would beg the question: Why would anybody want to be president of Haiti?
Ultimately, Wyclef explained, his presidential bid grew out of a need to do something. After witnessing countless unidentified rotting corpses, (some buried by Wyclef himself), comforting young children he found amongst the rubble and telling them everything would be alright even as he knew their death was imminent, was life altering for Wyclef. He felt compelled to do something and as one the most famous Haitians, he felt running for President was the best way to do something to help Haiti.
In recent interviews, Wyclef discussed his affair with Lauryn Hill however, If anyone came to the Atlanta book signing hoping to hear the tell-all on his Lauryn Hill affair, you would have left feeling unrequited! The former Fugee intentionally left out any detailed discussion on his illicit affair with his former Fugee bandmate. You will have to read it in the book my friends!
All in all, I left knowing exactly why Wyclef Jean rose to become such a successful rapper, musician, producer, activist, philanthropist and, now, author. He is engaging, comedic, talented, gifted, extremely approachable, down-to-earth and, most importantly Wyclef found his purpose. Get the book people!