Wyclef Jean says the theatrics are back. He has his mask, his wigs and, of course, his guitar. And as of midnight, The Carnival officially opened back up for business.
“So the Carnival III, the first single is ‘What Happened To Love?,” Clef said while sitting in REVOLT TV’s New York studio, before explaining the inspiration behind its video. In the clip, Clef is urged to get “the band” back together. His Carnival band, that is—though he does give a wink to all the fans asking for a Fugees reunion. As the clip progresses, the legendary Haitian cultural ambassador parades out a slew of characters.
“What I did was, I created four Clef’s,” he said. “The new generation, they don’t know about the Carnival, [Part] One. So it’s a generation. ‘Carnival Clef’ is from Haiti and he drives a Uber. We got ‘Boom Bap Clef,’ he wears a mask. ‘Afro Clef,’ you already know, he’s on his cannabis tip 24/7. We got ‘Permy Clef. You already know, the pimp. I’ve broken a lot of hearts in the past. The first record is called ‘What Happened To Love.’ This is what makes the Carnival III special.”
Wyclef describes his LP as “1997 meets 2017” and also says he’s working with a slew of newer producers.
“What happens when you put two generations together?,” he asked, beginning to elaborate on the sound. “I learned that watching Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones.”
What makes Clef one of the all-time greats is that he’s watched and learned from them all, either from afar or close up. N.O.R.E., fresh off having Clef on a recent episode of REVOLT TV’s Drink Champs, joins in on “Trap Cabana” while singer Emile Sande is featured on “Carry On.” Clef and Sande first started recording that song a few years back at Diddy’s Daddy’s House studio in Manhattan. After taking a break for 18 months, the two came back together and finished the record in time to make the cut for Carnival III.
He also, quite literally, reached to the outer limits for “Borrowed Time,” the latest single from the project.
“We got a crazy…The first song is we partnered up with Apple,” he told. “Apple has a space craft called ‘Juno.’ It goes out to space and records sounds from Jupiter and brings them back to Earth. So all of these sounds, I got first-hand to cut some of those frequencies and we did a song called ‘Borrowed Time.’ The song you gonna hear is the sounds of Jupiter, space meets Earth. I put inside a dark piano. Marvin Gaye had ‘Whats Going On,’ John Lennon had ‘Imagine,’ Wyclef had ‘Borrowed Time.’ For Carnival fans, that’s gonna listen to beginning to end, I created a story for y’all.”
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