Meet musician, producer and actor Wyclef Jean launching his memoir, Purpose: An Immigrant's Story

Miami Dade College Chapman Conference Center
September 28, 2012. 7:30 p.m.

The son of a pastor and grandson of a Voudu priest, Wyclef Jean was born and raised in the slums of Haiti, until his family moved to New York when he was nine. As immigrants they struggled in Brooklyn then eventually moved to Newark, where his father converted a burnt down funeral parlour into a home and a church. In his new memoir, Wyclef discusses candidly his experiences as an outsider and serving as a literal and cultural translator for his parents.

Wyclef himself struggled with his English but in high school found the perfect way to learn it: by rapping. As with the movie 8 Mile, he would have rap battles and slowly became the #1 rapper at school. Meanwhile, he began to sing in his father’s choir at church and learned accompanying musical instruments – the guitar, piano, cello – an experience that would forever shape his sound, along with his interest in hip hop, rock, jazz. But Wyclef’s father hated rap and nearly disowned his son when he refused to attend theological school in favor of pursuing a life in music. They had an uneasy relationship until 2001, when his father finally saw him play live, attending Wyclef’s concert at Carnegie Hall. To Wyclef’s shock, his father died eight months later.

And here, for the first time ever, Wyclef gives the inside story of the critically acclaimed hip hop group The Fugees – whose success catapulted him to international renown. Comprised of Lauryn Hill, Pras, and Wyclef, the group recorded two albums, including The Score (1996), which was a multi-platinum and Grammy-winning success, and remains one of the bestselling hip hop albums of all time.

He also discusses with compelling candor the catastrophic earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010; his personal efforts and commitment to helping rebuild his homeland; the founding of the aid organization Yéle and the controversy that has surrounded it; as well as his own exploratory bid for president of the island nation.

Wyclef Jean is a multi-platinum Haitian musician, actor, producer, and former member of the hip hop trio The Fugees. Wyclef has sold more than 50 million albums throughout his career, between his album sales with The Fugees, his collaborative works, and his solo work. He has collaborated with such artists such as Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Santana, Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, T.I., Mary J. Blige, and Destiny’s Child.

Tickets are $10 per person. The $10 can be used as a credit toward the purchase of Wyclef’s book, or any other book at Books & Books. Available at Books & Books in Coral Gables, Miami Beach and Bal Harbour Shops.

Miami Dade College
Chapman Conference Center
300 NE 2nd Avenue, Building 3
Miami, FL 33132

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