Wyclef Jean, a Haitian-born rapper, musician, and actor is undoubtedly one of the most celebrated musicians who has ever lived. He has not only impacted his generation, but he has helped bridge the gaps within the Pan-African community, advocating for unity, integration, and collaboration, particularly in arts and entertainment.
Born October 17, 1969, in the peaceful town of Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti, Jean’s fame soared after forming the legendary hip-hop group The Fugees in the ’90s. Ranked among the 10 greatest hip-hop groups of all time by MTV, their second album “The Score” achieved tremendous commercial success all over the world, topping charts in the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Australia, Sweden, and several other countries.
Since his early beginnings with The Fugees, Jean has amassed an impressive catalog of hits such as “Gone Till November”, “911,” and “Sweetest Girl.” He has gone on to produce award-winning hits for artists such as Shakira, Carlos Santana, Whitney Houston, and countless more.
In 2014, Jean collaborated with Carlos Santana, Avicii, and Alexandre Pires to release their 2014 FIFA World Cup official anthem “Dar Um Jeito.” That same year, he partnered with Coca-Cola’s Red campaign to release his single “Divine Sorrow,” also featuring Avicii. Jean went on to work with DJ Xenia Ghali on her 2015 release “Get Dirty” and created his upcoming single “Rich Girl” with Pusha T. Altogether, Jean has sold over 100 million albums and 20 million singles worldwide, with three Grammy Awards to his name.
Outside of the music industry, he runs the Wyclef Jean Foundation (a charitable organization), runs several businesses, and has been a firm advocate for black businesses. The 2016 FACE List Award Honoree is behind Carnival World Music Group, which raised $25 million in capital funding for publishing and distribution support of artists in developing countries.
He created the Carnival World Music Group on the back of growing demand for Afrobeats songs across the globe. “The demand for music from Africa and other developing regions is growing and these creatives deserve to be part of the international marketplace,” Jean told Forbes.
“There is a need for them to have open access to global publishing and distribution options that protect their rights and ensure that they are fairly paid. This initiative not only introduces and launches new talent but helps creatives around the world thrive in their careers.”
Jean also ventured into the automotive industry, premiering his first vehicle in March this year at The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island Country and Golf Course in Florida. He created Attucks Apex AP0, a lightweight electric supercar, alongside his partner Elo and the owners of Supercar Room Miami. Eventually, Jean wants to have his car company headquartered in Little Haiti, Miami.
Jean is also a cannabis investor. He is behind the BOOM BAP collection, a cannabis collection he partnered with Cali Life to launch. According to Benzinga, “the product line features synthetic free, pre-rolled hemp blunts infused with dried flower, flavoured distillates and kief, assuring an intense and uplifting high, as advertised by Cali Life.”
Jean said creating BOOM BAP is another opportunity for him to invest in what he believes in. “Experiencing the American dream as an immigrant and son of a preacher who was also a farmer has inspired me to become a social entrepreneur”, he told Rolling Stone. He also acknowledges the importance of cannabis to the economy.