Wyclef Jean returns to his hip-hop roots with the gritty release of “DJ Drama Presents Wyclef Jean AKA Toussaint St Jean From The Hut To The Projects To The Mansion,” a collaboration with DJ Drama to be released November 10, 2009 on Carnival House via Megaforce/RED. The EP also features Eve, Timbaland, Maino, Cyndi Lauper, Lil Kim, among others.
Toussaint St. Jean, the title character of Wyclef’s new EP, is a persona suggested to Wyclef by his friend and collaborator T.I. The character Toussaint is loosely based on the 18th-century Haitian revolutionary hero, Toussaint L’Ouverture, a figure who brought Haiti to significance on the international stage. Wyclef, who is originally from Haiti, inhabits the role of Toussaint and recreates himself in the spirit of a noble fighter, a man who says exactly what is on his mind. Toussaint’s rhymes hit hard, in a “militant style,” and make his words felt – and remembered.
And so what’s the difference between Wyclef and Toussaint? “Toussaint is more direct,” Wyclef says. “He ain’t going to sugarcoat nothing. Whatever he’s thinking, he’s going to tell you. It’s like, I’ve still got this machete – my tongue is sharper than it’s ever been.”