The acclaimed MC-producer Wyclef Jean hopes to add "heartthrob" to his list of accolades with his third album, Masquerade, a work-in-progress.
"I'm definitely going sexier on my joint," Clef said from his New Jersey home. "Every year Wyclef gets sexier and sexier. I sing about reality. Its not, 'Oh, baby, I love you.' The metaphors I use for love are usually different. It's going to be clever."
Besides displaying his sensual side, the Haitian-born performer said he's been playing more guitar, too.
Since taking refuge in the studio, Clef has completed a track a day for the past three months. And while coming up with material for his new CD hasn't been a problem, deciding what to use has.
"I have two sounds for the album," Clef said. "I'm debating about Masquerade, because when I did joints like '911' or 'Diallo' or 'Gone Till November,' it touched people in a certain place, and that's a certain side of me. I'm thinking for the next level to keep it on that kind of vibe but give you 13 joints of not trying to be all over the place. Concentrate on a mood."
The other soundscape Clef's been shaping takes more of a hip-hop approach. "Imagine if I fused soca guitar with the drums from Audio Two's 'Top Billin'.' I've been working on stuff like that, too. It's a debate. Maybe I'll mix them together. It's still going to be real eclectic 'cause that's how I am naturally."
Clef hopes to sing his way back to the multiplatinum plateau of his 1997 debut, The Carnival. His 2000 follow-up, The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II a Book, has only gone gold to date.
Masquerade should be out by the end of the year, according to Clef. Yclef Records, meanwhile, will release its first album, The Product G&B's eponymous debut, on July 10.