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Woebot
27-10-2004, 05:03 PM
I've always been intrigued by this guy. The Fugees stuff, I do believe, had a hardcore heart. If that makes any sense. It was almost as if their Haitain slant on HipHop was accidentally successfully. That they penetrated the mainstream almost entirely as a result of having an ear for a catchy melody (and in this era of PR budgets that dwarf the gross national output of most caribbean nations is saying something). I don't indulge myself in celebrating or talking-up the assumed theory of platinum pop outfits, or do much reading against the grain of "pop" gesture, but you know there is something incredibly queer about Wyclef. Something ripe for investigation.

Take for instance that track he did with Brian of East 17 (was it?) a quite brilliant bit of, again really catchy, protest pop. Why in god's name was he doing it with that ugly washed-up loser? Then there's that bizarre Credit Card advert he did, captured and held hostage in a trailerpark caravan by a white trash pseudo-domintrix! What gives? How gauchely he likes to present himself! It MUST be deliberate, either evidence of a talent pissing itself up against a wall; still more interesting than the more obvious clearly hip avenues he could further his post-Lauren career. Perhaps it's a simple as him wringing the last dime out of his credibility

I'm going to get that "Ecleftic" LP one day I swear. I mean, duets with Whitney alongside cover versions of Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" It's suicide isn't it. His song "Gone to November" I've always thought is a complete masterpiece (did he write that? It's genius.) It's absolutely stuffed to the gills with diamond-sharp self-reflexive lyrics which play with hip-hop's cliches. And the divinely atmospheric stage-setting of the intro:

"I dedicate this record, the carnival to all you brothers takin’ long
Trips down south, virginia, baltimore, all around the world, and your
Girl gets this message that you ain’t comin’ back. she’s sittin’ back
In the room, the lights are off, she’s cryin’, and then my voice comes in
Pow!, in the middle of the night, and this is what I told her for you."

Seriously I get shivers everytime I play this. It sneaks its way into so many CDs I burn. And the girls love it too. I notice he's put out a couple of LPs fairly recently too. And what was that number one he had with all the fashion imagery and electro drums? That was good too.

Ach!
27-10-2004, 05:17 PM
He also plays mean electric guitar (see. Fugees on Jools Holland's 'Later' c.1996).

john eden
27-10-2004, 05:19 PM
He was excellent on the Rodigan show a year or so back. Excellent I tell ya!

Brought loads of insane dubplates with him. Top notch mentalism! Tom Jones, doing the green green grass of home over diwali or something... on a Wyclef dubplate!

Roddy also tells a story of how he was clashing with Stone Love or someone in the hills in JA and Wyclef turns up wearing a massive fur coat and stands at the side of the stage with a package. He's smiling because he's at number one in the JA and US charts with Santana doing "Maria Maria". Turns out the package is... a dubplate of said tune with Wyclef name checking roddy and bunning fire on the opposition. Dance done!

Also - he's the only american to feature on the Greensleeves riddim albums (rice & peas I think oops "Bun Bun" actually).

mms
27-10-2004, 06:10 PM
the track with kenny rogers is ace, simiiltaneously sending up both of em.

DavidD
27-10-2004, 06:39 PM
Is that the one w/ Pharaohe Monch? THat one is pretty funny.

be.jazz
27-10-2004, 07:05 PM
I always liked his first solo album, even if I don't have any of the others, and fully agree on "Gone 'Til November." I think he did write it himself.

Karl Kraft
27-10-2004, 08:36 PM
Always loved that Fugee La (think that what its called) tune, really really loved it.

jd_
27-10-2004, 10:19 PM
He did that wicked Destiny's Child "No No No" remix.

dubversion
28-10-2004, 03:46 AM
the track with kenny rogers is ace, simiiltaneously sending up both of em.


hmmm.

sending up? or just piss poor?

this is my man Kenny Rogers, hanging on the country side.


wrong and bad,

hint
28-10-2004, 01:07 PM
I kinda put him up there alongside puff daddy...

1) both were involved with some great music

2) both suck corporate cock so hard that you have to keep reminding yourself about point 1 cos they seem to have forgotten it themselves


on the one hand, you have "nappy heads", "fu gee la", "gone til november", "no no no"

on the other you have "pussycat ho! pussycat ho!" alongside tom jones on top of the pops

xero
28-10-2004, 01:36 PM
I kinda put him up there alongside puff daddy...


seemed to me to be jointly reponsible for the period when mainstream hip hop moved away from sampling loops from obscure records (after the obvious ones had all been exhausted I suppose) to borrowing entire choruses from well known pop hits which surely can only be seen as the most cynical exercise in unit-shifting can't it?

hint
28-10-2004, 02:03 PM
well a lot of the early hip hop did just that (slick rick, doug e fresh, biz markie etc etc).... just sing a whole alexander o'neal hook out of tune over a beatbox...

but then the lawyers moved in and clamped down on the theft of hooks. which sent everyone off digging in the crates.

I suppose puffy and wyclef were the first to make the calculated decision (after getting props for the tracks they'd made using less vulgar samples) -

"if we use this loop from diana ross, it will cost us X dollars, but the resulting sales will earn us XXX dollars... so fuck it, let's get paid"

xero
28-10-2004, 02:22 PM
well a lot of the early hip hop did just that (slick rick, doug e fresh, biz markie etc etc).... just sing a whole alexander o'neal hook out of tune over a beatbox...


it's a good point - this was going on before the lawyers moved in, not only with vocals but hooks like liquid liquid's cavern bassline on white lines or trans europe express on planet rock. But when it came back with the licensing all sorted it just seemed much less creative and more an attempt to get the masses to buy something cos they new and loved the original hit. Maybe it's just the rose tinted spectacles but it didn't seem so cynical first time round - but then again I was only a schoolkid then so who knows?

Woebot
28-10-2004, 02:29 PM
both suck corporate cock so hard that you have to keep reminding yourself about point 1 cos they seem to have forgotten it themselves
there definitely is that side to him. he's almost certainly "corrupted" but i dont think he's even half comparable to puff daddy. apart from anything else p.diddy has almost become the corporate cock. i've never heard a puff daddy track i even half liked (and nothing on bad boy i rated). though someone is going to correct me of this misapprehension :-)


rodigan show
great stories john. i'd love to hear that radio show.

----

wyclef: hero or zero? i'm thinking hero.

hint
28-10-2004, 02:48 PM
apart from anything else p.diddy has almost become the corporate cock. i've never heard a puff daddy track i even half liked (and nothing on bad boy i rated). though someone is going to correct me of this misapprehension

any of these ring any bells?:

flava in ya ear rmx
love like this
some biggie
some mary j

all stuff he's been "involved" with... much like wyclef, it's hard to pinpoint exactly what puffy's contribution is in each particular case cos I imagine both of them to be surrounded by talented people who work behind the scenes (engineers, songwriters, session musos) and make more stuff happen than perhaps they get credit for.

Woebot
28-10-2004, 04:32 PM
any of these ring any bells?:

flava in ya ear rmx
love like this
some biggie
some mary j

all stuff he's been "involved" with... much like wyclef, it's hard to pinpoint exactly what puffy's contribution is in each particular case cos I imagine both of them to be surrounded by talented people who work behind the scenes (engineers, songwriters, session musos) and make more stuff happen than perhaps they get credit for.
i guess its a matter of personal taste. quite prepared to concede there may be great puffy stuff (and a cd is always greatly appreciated :) )

do you not think wyclef has an distinctive songwriting style?

wyclef jean. zero?

nick.K
28-10-2004, 04:38 PM
first time I heard wyclef (back in the v.early 90s), awestruck I heard a B-side - nappy heads - the Boof-Baff Doo-Doo mix. He was toasting this 'eleckronik-el-electtrronik' line over and over, I'm not sure I'd heard that much hard style jamacian before. I listened to it at full volume, then opened all the windows and played it again.

like puff he's both sweetened and soured a few moments. I prefer Puff's production, but Wyclef has more character (brian harvey!?!). I only have opinions on them cause I don't have to go out of my way to hear what they release

the last time I heard Wyclef he was battlin Dizzee on the Radio show from Notting Hill at the carnival two years ago. he tried everything but the young 'un ran rings around him.

DavidD
28-10-2004, 04:41 PM
Diddy did "Bad Boy For Life"!!! That song is great.

nick.K
28-10-2004, 04:49 PM
there's stacks of Diddy production that's under-rated, I wonder how much is his...

mms
28-10-2004, 08:42 PM
any of these ring any bells?:

flava in ya ear rmx
love like this
some biggie
some mary j

all stuff he's been "involved" with... much like wyclef, it's hard to pinpoint exactly what puffy's contribution is in each particular case cos I imagine both of them to be surrounded by talented people who work behind the scenes (engineers, songwriters, session musos) and make more stuff happen than perhaps they get credit for.


yep this is the problem with puffy, i know a couple of people that worked on a single with him, they all did different stuff and he kinda mashed little bits of it together.
all a bit goldie/other dude
fat boy slim/other dude.

juliand
29-10-2004, 07:23 AM
The story, told in Cheo Coker's "Unbelievable", of Puffy piecing together the beats for "Life After Death" with a huge team of producers--was it in Compass Point? or am I misremembering that?--is probably the best indication of his creative process: he's a curator vs. a "lone genius" like, say, Premier.

He's had at least a few great moments: he's responsible for throwing the beat from Audio Two's "Top Billin" beneath Mary J's "Real Love", thereby probably creating "hip hop soul"; and is the one responsible for recognizing Biggie's talent, and for getting him on the radio. And "All About the Benjamins", with its stutter-funk, reversed hats, and guitar string-drone, is killer. (Though he then had to go remix it with the Foo Fighters and Rob Zombie; yeeuurrgh).

be.jazz
26-11-2004, 11:07 AM
A few days ago I woke up to the second half of Wyclef's duet with Mary J. Blige, "911," I think it's called. Awesome.

"And my body's growing *cold*", baby.

As for Puffy, I think that the only song heavily featuring him I can stand is "We Ain't Goin' Nowhere" or whatever it's called. That's great, and contains his single most honest and famous moment on record: "Don't worry about if I write rhymes: I write checks."

Matos_W.K.
26-11-2004, 09:08 PM
I like the rock remix of "Benjamins," and I believe Jay-Z is responsible for the "checks" line (as he allegedly ghostwrote most all of Diddy's rhymes on that album).

be.jazz
27-11-2004, 12:55 PM
I believe Jay-Z is responsible for the "checks" line (as he allegedly ghostwrote most all of Diddy's rhymes on that album).
That this sincerity would come via someone else only makes it better.