WASHINGTON, D.C. — Inauguration weekend had a proper kickoff Saturday night, when [artist id="330"]Wyclef Jean[/artist] performed at the Green Inaugural Ball.
“It’s important for me to be here in D.C., to be part of this event, ’cause all you gotta do is Google ‘Wyclef,’ man,” he told MTV News before the show at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium. “I’m like an Obama groupie from the very beginning. Every Wyclef song, I remixed it with ‘Obama’: ‘I’ll be gone with Obama … ‘ ”
Wyclef said he’s planning on lining up for the inauguration bright and early Tuesday morning. “I’mma be out there at the inauguration. I’m probably going to be there at 7:30 in the morning,” he said. “I know it’s gonna be dirt cold. … On camera, it’s going to look like I have one coat on, but I’mma have 17 sweaters under that, ’cause there’s nobody takin’ my seat!”
With a “Barack My World” bumper sticker plastered on his forehead, Clef played an hourlong set of hits, including his [artist id="504144"]Shakira[/artist] collabo, “Hips Don’t Lie,” a cover of Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry” and his own “Gone Till November.”
The Green Ball’s black-tie crowd had a hard time loosening up at first, but by the end, ‘Clef convinced a handful to join him on stage, kick off their high heels and loosen their ties.
“If there is one good thing I could say about Bush, it’s thank you for giving John Forte a pardon ,” he said during a rambling freestyle onstage, referring to the outgoing president’s recent commutation of Fugees producer Forte’s prison sentence on a cocaine-trafficking charge. “But Tuesday, pack your bags. … It’s time to leave. … Barack Obama’s in the White House, yeah!”
“Be the Change: Live From the Inaugural” will air live on MTV on Tuesday, January 20, at 10 p.m. ET/PT. MTV News will have wall-to-wall coverage of the event and of the scenes in Washington, D.C., New Orleans and Kenya in the days leading up to the event and in the days that follow.