News: Wyclef Jean Talks DJ Drama Collabo Mixtape, "People Forget Where You Came From"

Saturday, Nov 21, 2009 7:00AM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Grammy-winning rapper Wyclef Jean has opened up about his recently released DJ Drama mixtape From The Hut to the Projects to the Mansion and the inspiration behind his first-ever underground record.

From Jean's perspective, the EP allows fans to get a closer look into his inside life.

"When you get to a certain point in your career, people forget where you came from," Jean says of the EP's concept. "So now, [it's] going to show everyone my skills and how I got started in hip-hop. Just in case you thought Clef was dead and he don't spit: Here's the reinvention....[it's about] whatever you want to do, you can accomplish. If I came from nothing and became something, if I was chosen for greatness, then so can you." (Billboard)

The project also features contributions from female emcees including Lil Kim and Eve.

Wyclef Jean returns to his hip-hop roots with the gritty release of DJ Drama Presents Wyclef Jean AKA Toussaint St Jean From The Hut To The Projects To The Mansion, a collaboration with DJ Drama to be released November 10, 2009 on Carnival House via Megaforce/RED. The EP also features Eve, Timbaland, Maino, Cyndi Lauper, Lil Kim among others. (Hip Hop Ruckus)

He has credited incarcerated rapper T.I. for a portion of the mixtape's inspiration.

"It's my first hip-hop mixtape ever," Clef revealed in an interview. "With it I created an alter ego, his name is Toussaint based off the revolutionary [Toussaint L'Ouverture]. The name came when I was working with T.I. like two or three years ago. I was like, 'Yo, I'm going to have an alter ego cause I feel like rhyming again. I'm going to call it Toussaint,' and T.I. was like, 'Nah, call it Toussaint St. Jean and throw some swagger on that thang.' The first tape I got coming out is called From The Hut To The Projects To The Mansion. It's a big deal because I stopped everything and just went back to rhyming like the past six months. I felt like it was important to pause and do this before moving on." (Hip Hop DX)

The joint project landed onto the charts last week.

DJ Drama and Wyclef Jean's From The Hut To The Projects To The Mansion EP mixtape debuted on the charts this week landing at No. 171. After one week of availability, the project has moved 3,300 units. (Sales Wrap)

To give fans a closer feel of his life, Clef said he would solely focus on placing himself on the first seven tracks of his upcoming album.

"This is the first album in my whole entire career where the first seven songs are only going to be Wyclef," he revealed in an interview. "[It's] an insight into just me, because it's time for you all to know who I am. The album is Wyclef Jean the complete artist. When you come to the show, it's the man playing seven instruments, the man sings, the man rhymes, the man dances and the girls throw their things on stage. The guys go crazy, they pick up chairs and want to throw them in the air and that's all going to be on one album! The first seven records you're going to hear are very personal, like when you come to my show the first thing I do is I get my guitar and talk to you for like 30 minutes. We talk. We converse. Then after that I pick up the microphone and then the party starts." (All Hip Hop)

No further details have been released as of now.

Check out a recent Wyclef Jean interview below:

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