Wyclef Jean Follow-Up Due Independence Day

The rapper/guitarist will release his ska, pop and country-infused hip-hop follow-up in July.

Rapper/guitarist Wyclef

Jean, who said he got the inspiration for his

much-anticipated second solo album while he was in the

shower, will release Ecleftic — Two Sides of a

Book, on July 4.

The follow-up to Carnival promises to be a mix of

genres. "It has a strong hip-hop feel, infused with ska, pop

and even country," said Miguel Baguer, a spokesperson for

Columbia Records.

Ecleftic is filled with guest appearances by such stars

as Mary J.

Blige, Earth,

Wind & Fire and even "a surprise showing by

[country-pop singer] Kenny

Rogers," Baguer said.

Two-years coming, Ecleftic was self-produced by

Wyclef with help from a few studio collaborators —

most notably, Jerry "Wonder"

Duplessis and

COLOR="#003163">Salaam Remi, who

executed a number of hits for the

COLOR="#003163">Fugees, with whom

Wyclef started his career.

According to Columbia records, Ecleftic takes on

more serious subject matter than its predecessor. "Diallo"

speaks directly to the four New York police officers who

were acquitted of murder charges earlier this year in the

death of 22-year-old West African Amadou Diallo. Another

track exposes the seedy dealings of Hollywood’s dark

side.

Wyclef's pledge to be vocal about injustice recently moved

him to cancel a March 24 tour date with hip-hop phenom

Kelis in

Charleston, S.C., in protest of the Confederate flag, which

still flies over the state's capitol.

Carnival, Jean's first solo album, sold more than 1.7

million copies, fueled by catchy acoustic guitar-driven

singles such as "Guantanamera" (

HREF="http://media.addict.com/music/Jean,_Wyclef/Guanta

namera.ram">RealAudio excerpt) and "Gone Till

November."