Wyclef Jean just released a new single from his first album in seven years, and like his best work, it floats effortlessly between genres.
“Hendrix” arrives off of Jean’s forthcoming LP Carnival III: Road To Clefication, the follow-up to his 1997 debut The Carnival and 2007’s Carnival Vol. II: Memoirs of an Immigrant. The third installment in the trilogy will be out this fall.
In a press release, Jean explained the album’s newly announced full title, and pointed out that Avicii was actually the one who named it. “It’s a nickname he gave to me,” he said. “We were in Stockholm recording and he said, ‘We need some Clefication.’ Now when I’m in the studio with other producers from his generation, they’ll say, ‘Yo we need some Clefication on the vocal before I swag it up.’ It’s the human application of music.”
Avicii will guest on the record alongside Afrojack and Emeli Sandé.
On “Hendrix,” Jean sings about jamming on his guitar as a kid while members of his family got involved in gangs: “When my cousin got his first Tec, I was playing Jimi Hendrix in the basement."
"This speaks to the neighborhood I grew up in and how it didn’t look like much," Wyclef said in an interview with Complex. "The devil, or the streets, offered drugs and cartel and I chose music."
In a recent interview with Billboard, Jean described the sound of his eight album as “acoustic trap.” Between "Hendrix" and Jean's upbeat comeback single "My Girl," that’s a pretty accurate descriptor so far.