Wyclef Jean is always looking for new talent. One of the founders of The Fugees, a successful record producer, and multi-Grammy award-winning musician, Wyclef is very busy still on tour in support of his newest album, Carnival 3.
On the heels of that album, Wyclef has released a new single to kick off his next idea that just might change the game in music. Sak Kap Fet is the first track off the upcoming 'Wyclef Goes Back To School' mixtape and single featuring Kofi Black and the unknown college student, Moria Mack.
Do you have material just laying in the wings, or are you writing on the road?
Man, you know ... It's hard to explain, but the best way to explain it is, music is like drinking water-
So, I had an idea called ... Cause you know when people is like, "Yo, the kids are putting four or five mixtapes out every three or four months", when I was on Sony that's what I wanted to do. I was like, "Yo, why can't I put out a Hip Hop album, a Jazz album, a Reggae album", and they was like, "No, everything has to be formatted and structured." That's why I love this time period. So basically, I had the idea of Wyclef goes back to school-
Which would be the next mixtape. And then, I ... there was a young man by the name of Kofi, Kofi Black. So we had connected through Sus One, I was doing an interview, and then we was supposed to get in the studio and just work. But I was on the road, I was moving, he was moving. And then one day I had four days off.
And I was like, so I got a hold of Kofi, that's Kofi and I was like, "Yo let's come and catch a vibe". I literally kid you not. We went in the studio and came up with an entire mixtape. In four days. So, once again, like music, when it breeds the right energy, cause when you hear Sak Kap Fet, you're like man this just makes me feel good, I don't know. And that's what music is really supposed to do. And I think sometimes we forget that you know?
With 'Wyclef Goes Back To School' it sounds like you're almost on a talent hunt for kids out there trying to get their music out. Is there anything specifically that you're looking for in the kids that you're working with?
Wyclef: Well the thing about Wyclef Goes Back to School, I wanna leave the forum open. I've had this idea for a long time. I remember I went to two colleges, even though I didn't stay, cause I had to leave. One was Five Town College in Long Island and the other was Berkeley in Boston. And then I had a dorm band in five town-
And you know, literally if we hit the lawn I kid you not man, in like less than five minutes its 3000 people on the lawn. The best talent, like the raw talent, there's like 50% of it, which curates through these universities and these last years of high school, and I'm like reality shows sometimes kills that, because it almost makes it look like there's only one way to find talent now. We're the four judges. We're gonna tell you what's dope. I'm like are you kidding me. Then I wouldn't be discovered, you know what I mean?
So the idea of this tape is to leave one of the songs on the mixtape we would leave open wit' a 12 bar, and the 12 bar will go out to a community. Some of these schools will physically be showing up too. But once you know where the site is at in this community, if you play guitar, play guitar on these twelve bars. If you play saxophone if you do poetry ... I don't want no one to feel like, "Oh, we're subject to have to rap on this track, or have to sing on this track."
Dude, I don't know what kinda talent I'm gonna find, so when that part of the record comes in with the 12 bars we probably will break the entire thing down, maybe just leave it with a snare on the rhythm, and maybe a four-chord pattern.
So the talent that we looking for is raw talent. And raw talent means the no hype. You might have three views, and you the fuckin' next Adele. Who knows that? You know what I mean?
So what is the plan with the mixtape - find talent to feature and then what?
Wyclef: As a producer, as a conductor who've worked with the likes of Whitney Houston, or Lauryn, or Beyonce, everybody at a young age, I look for the "it" factor.
It's just an "it", right so, when you see Kofi on stage tonight I don't have to hype it to you. Like when he get off you gonna be like, "Who the hell is that?" And then there's some kids that are different that might be, "You know what, I'm too shy. Maybe I wanna be on the tape, but I just wanna get a song off". That's okay. Take your twelve bars and post it online.
And then, when we come back to the cities now, we gonna have an official college tour. A straight up Roger Dangerfield, Wyclef Goes Back To School-
In the fall we gotta do something crazy, crazy in the fall. Ya' know what I mean, and all of the talent that's on the mixtape will be the openers, and including some talent that we might find that didn't make the mixtape, but in the cities that we're going to are already incredible. You know?
You can also check out the first time he was on Fueled By Death Cast when we talked about the beginning of The Fugees and his extensive career.
Before you go, our new snapback hat by New Era is also coming soon, and we're giving five of them away before the release. We'll also throw in a pair of Death Wish Coffee socks and a pound of the world's strongest coffee for every winner. Enter below.