If not for the silver belt buckle that spelled out his first name, you might not have recognized Wyclef Jean at the video shoot for "It Doesn't Matter" from his upcoming album, "The Ecleftic," at a downtown Toronto club on Monday.
Sporting a high-top fade that would make Big Daddy Kane proud, two fat, gold rope chains, and black leather pants and trenchcoat, Clef and two male dancers busted the kinds of moves that were staples of '80s rap videos onstage at The Guvernment for the clip.
The $800,000 video for the ska-soaked track was shot by director Hype Williams in Toronto to coincide with World Wrestling Federation superstar Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's appearance at a huge WWF event at the city's SkyDome on Monday.
The Rock, who makes a cameo appearance on the single, had shot his part for the video the previous day. Incidentally, another brawny star, heavyweight boxing champion Lennox Lewis, dropped by the set on Sunday as well.
video is basically Wyclef in the year 1988, trying to get into a club," Jean told MTV News in his suite at the Le Meridien King Edward hotel. "So you get Wyclef the b-boy -- I used to break, and I'm breaking in the video -- [and] you get Wyclef the MC. Then you get Wyclef in the year 2000 with The Rock.
"We take you back and return to the present to show you where this whole hip-hop thing came from," he explained.
As for how WWF superstar The Rock came to appear on the track, Jean said, "I was driving around with one of my little sisters, who's 13, and she said, 'You gotta put The Rock on the record. You're saying, 'It doesn't matter,' and that's what The Rock would say.' So, I said, 'Who's The Rock?'"
Former WWF World Heavyweight Titleholder The Rock is well known for his colorful catchphrases, including barking sentences beginning with "It doesn't matter..." at anyone who attempts to hold a conversation with him.
"I reached out for The Rock, and
he came to the studio and I told him to do his thing," 'Clef said of how he got "The People's Champion" to appear on his record. "I had all the parts laid out.
"[The Rock] was the easiest person to work with," he raved. "Sometimes you bring people in the studio, and they have no rhythm. The Rock was right on beat with everything.
"He was so good that I gave him a line to rap," he said, laughing. "It all worked out good."
No word yet on when the video will surface, as his newest single, "Thug Angels," is currently on the airwaves (see "Wyclef Preps Two Videos For New Single").