On his fourth solo album, Preacher's Son, Wyclef Jean ascends a pulpit to proselytize and fantasize about a world free of gang violence, poverty and corruption.
In Clef's perfect hip-hop universe, beef is a four-letter word that never enters a rapper's vocabulary. "Imagine if Biggie and Pac never got shot and they both still was rulers of hip-hop," he raps on "Industry" before calling on modern rappers to settle their differences. "[What if] Nas and Jay-Z, they were still homies/ Squashed the beef with Ja Rule and 50/ And Benzino shook hands with Eminem/ And on the same record I heard Eve, Fox and Kim."
Other songs on Preacher's Son, which drops October 7, include "Next Generation," in which Wyclef contemplates life after death, and "Life in New York," which chronicles the ugliness of gun battles, "money, drugs and bitches" in the Big Apple.
Guests on the album include Scarface on "Next Generation," Patti LaBelle on "Family Reunion," Redman on "Baby Daddy" and Sharissa on "Take Me As I Am." Timbaland, Mobb Deep's Prodigy, Trick Daddy, Shells and U2 guitarist the Edge also contribute to the record. Wyclef recorded the disc in June and July at his New York studio, Platinum Sound.
Some might find it a bit hypocritical that Clef is calling for love in the hip-hop community when bad blood still exists between him and cousin Pras. Wyclef recently called his Fugees bandmate the Milli Vanilli of hip-hop and released a song called "Fake Ass Pras," which featured such scathing lines as "The fans want the Fugees back together/ The only thing they don't want is the third member/ ...Yeah, I seen your movie, son/ It made my stomach turn/ ... I'mma drop you harder than Sony did."
Rather than responding to Wyclef's jabs, Pras is focusing on his music. "I'm in the studio enhancing my career, and not making a pathetic attempt at destroying someone else's," he said.
Pras' second solo album, Cold Fire, is scheduled for year-end release and will feature around 16 songs, including the singles "One for my Ni**az" and "Light My Fire." Producers on the album include Kanye West (Jay-Z, Foxy Brown) and Salaam Remi (Fugees). Guests include Sean Paul, Sheek from the LOX, Sharli McQueen and Pras' crew: Mister, Tempamental and Robin Andre.