Multi-platinum rap stars the Fugees brought it all back
home this past Saturday (April 12) by playing an outdoor stadium show in front
of 70,000 fans In Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. The six-hour show featured the Fugees
performing hits from their breakthrough album, The Score--which has now
sold 14 million copies worldwide in addition to garnering them a Best Rap Album
Grammy in February--alongside local musicians. "We are going to show the world
just what Haiti can offer," singer/guitarist and native Haitian Wyclef Jean
told the crowd, according to a Reuters report. Both Jean and fellow
Fugee, Praz, were born in Haiti, while singer Lauryn Hill was born in the U.S.
to Haitian parents.
Proceeds from the concert are ear-marked to aid Haitian
refugees (the band's name is a foreshortened form of the word Refugees) to
repatriate from neighboring country, the Dominican Republic, where many
Haitians have been forced to relocate in order to look for work, which is rare
in their impoverished homeland. A local musician who shared the stage with the
group, Henry Robert Lourou, said of their decision to return home, "The Fugees
reached the top of the music industry in the United States and have come back
home to open the door for the rest of Haitian culture who, as a country deep in
poverty, normally wouldn't have this chance." Other artists on the bill
included Steven Marley (son of the late Bob Marley and frequent Fugee
collaborator), Dominican artist Janna, and Manno Charlegmane (mayor of
Port-Au-Prince and a popular folk singer).
Wyclef is currently wrapping up
work on an album by the Refugee All-Stars, which has been described as a solo
album featuring a number of Haitian artists, alongside guest spots from his
Fugees bandmates. No release date has been set yet for that collection.