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Toussaint St. Jean - From the Hut, to the Projects, to the Mansion (DJ Drama Presents Wyclef Jean)

Wyclef Jean & DJ Drama

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Album Review

A wild mix of personal stories, high concept, and mixtape presentation, Toussaint St. Jean: From the Hut, To the Projects, To the Mansion is the sound of Wyclef Jean following all of his whims and desires as far as they’ll take him, which apparently isn’t as far as a whole album. According to the liner notes, this 17-track release is actually an EP, but like the mixtape branding of this being a “DJ Drama Presents” effort, all signs point to Wyclef marketing this as sideline release and not as part of his main discography. There are plenty of reasons to this, one being Wyclef’s underdevelopment of this title character "Toussaint St. Jean," who is one-part 18th century Haitian hero, one part Wyclef rapping rather than singing. The character allows Wyclef freedom to complain about Auto-Tune, the spotlight shifting from Wyclef to will.i.am, and some other personal annoyances, but this free-wheeling mixtape will suddenly shift to more global concerns, and enlist Cyndi Lauper for help on the elaborate highlight “Slumdog Millionaire.” Elsewhere it’s Lil' Kim bringing some serious gutter talk to the table, and Timbaland bringing the club-worthy, ultra-cool beats, and while Wyclef has made sensible, well-flowing albums out of this kind of diverse material before, here he takes the mixtape tactic and gives Drama a shout-out when the going gets rough. It doesn’t spoil the show, and listening to Wyclef go every which way while exorcising some demons will still please fans no matter how bumpy the ride. Casual listeners may prefer one of his saner and more stable official albums, but as free-form diversions go, this one is rather thrilling.

Customer Reviews

hold on?

when is hold on feat. mavado gonna be released in uk? ive been waiting for months now and it was released on feb 1st in the US, why do they get all the good music first?

Biography

Born: 17 October 1972 in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Lead Fugees rapper and sometime guitarist Wyclef Jean was the first member of his group to embark on a solo career, and he proved even more ambitious and eclectic on his own. As the Fugees hung in limbo, Wyclef also became hip-hop's unofficial multicultural conscience; a seemingly omnipresent activist, he assembled or participated in numerous high-profile charity benefit shows for a variety of causes, including aid for his native Haiti. The utopian one-world sensibility that fueled Wyclef's political...
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Toussaint St. Jean - From the Hut, to the Projects, to the Mansion (DJ Drama Presents Wyclef Jean), Wyclef Jean
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