It’s been seven years since Wyclef Jean’s last proper album, but he’s not taking 2017 lying down. He’s carved himself out a pretty busy year, starting with the release of new EP J’ouvert on February 3rd. “J’ouvert” is Caribbean parlance for the pre-dawn festivities signaling the start of Carnival. And when you name your record after the beginning of Carnival, you better damn well bring the party.
On third single “I Swear” Wyclef’s uniquely eclectic sound gets smothered beneath homogeneous, trop-house production. It’ll probably be big on the Billboard Hot 100. But we’re pretty sure the music video is secretly just a Remy Martin commercial, anyway.
On “I Swear”, Wyclef returns some mutual admiration to Young Thug, who offers up a guest verse (and some half-decent guitar mimicry in the video). On Thugger’s 2016 debut JEFFERY, Clef not only had one track named in his honor, but also—somewhat confusingly—guested on another track called “Kanye West”. For the sake of symmetry, we can only hope that Kanye’s next album brings us a single called “Young Thug”, featuring Wyclef.
J’ouvert is just the beginning, as Wyclef’s Carnival III: Road To Clefication is set for release this summer. It will cap the trilogy begun on 1997’s The Carnival, as Wyclef celebrates the 20th anniversary (!) of his debut.