May 12 [Updated 10:00 EST] -- Columbia Records have set a release date for "Wyclef Jean Presents: The Carnival," the solo project from the Fugees' Wyclef that we first reported back in March.
The project will turn up in stores on June 24, and will boast a diverse set of influences and collaborators.For the musical journey, Wyclef recruited the help of the Neville Brothers ("Mona Lisa"), the New York Philharmonic ("Gone 'Til November"), Celia Cruz ("Guantanamera"), I Threes ("Gunpowder"), and fellow Fugees Lauryn and Praz. Wyclef also threw in a touch of recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees the Bee Gees, as he sampled the group¹s biggest hit on "Carnival's" first single, "We Trying To Stay Alive."
Wyclef also proudly wears his Haitian heritage on the album, singing "Sang Fezi," "Jaspora," "Yele," and the album's title track in Creole. The unreleased material is already widely known in Haiti, which is just fine with Wyclef.
"You have a very low market
here," Wyclef told MTV News during the Fugees recent to Haiti.
"Only the rich can buy CDs, so you have a very small percentage of CD buyers, but now the radio stations, everyone listens to them. As they play the songs on the radio, the people tape them on cassettes. That's how they usually learn the songs... What's cool is they know 'The Score,' and they know some of 'The Carnival' which is not even released yet. You know, the new album that I'm working on, that's in, mostly in English, but like two songs in Creole. They already know the songs, they already big hits out here."
The rest of the world (or at least the U.S.) will get to hear the album when it hits stores in June 24.