Wyclef Jean was on Last Call with Carson Daly on Wednesday to talk about his arrest, what’s up with the Fugees, and perform ‘Two Wrongs’ featuring Claudette from City High. Wyclef made a plea to Lauryn Hill on the program to get back in the studio and do another Fugees album. For a transcript to the chat, read on.
Carson: Welcome back to “last call.” My next guest started out doing
groundbreaking work with the fugees. Now he’s a solo artist, incredible
producer, songwriter. He’s won grammys, sold millions of albums. Say hi
to wyclef jean, everybody.
[ Cheers and applause ] What’s up, man? Wyclef, you know I have to start
— you know I am a respected journalist. When people want news at 1:35
in the morning, they turn to us.
Wyclef: All right.
Carson: Your people asked me not to ask you about it, but how can I
not? You were recently arrested here in new york. I have to ask you, what
Wyclef: Man —
Carson: And you can answer as much as you want.
Wyclef: I mean, basically, you know, I was reading the papers. I wasn’t
on no thug vibe or nothing. I just went out there to represent the kids.
Carson: But tell everybody what was going on down there at city hall.
Wyclef: Russell simmons, you know, he gave me a call and said, “they’re
doing something for kids.” And the mayor was cutting the budget for public
schools. And public schools is what saved my life, so I wasn’t going for
Carson: How does mayor bloomberg here in new york cut so much money
from education? That doesn’t make any sense. How is he even justifying
Wyclef: Well, I mean, that’s why we went down there, basically, to speak
on behalf of the kids. So I just went down there to speak on behalf —
I didn’t got nowhere by the stage. The papers said I got by the stage.
I didn’t go nowhere by the stage. It’s just the way the officer came. He
was yelling in my face. I just wasn’t going for it, you know?
Carson: You went down there — there was a bunch of people down the.E.
Jay was down there. Alicia keys. Puffy was down there. Why is it always
— that seems like such a great cause. Had I had known about it, I would
have gone down there. Why is it always the hip-hop community that rallies
around these causes? It’s ludicrous that they wanna t money from education
n yk. Where were the rock bands?
Wyclef: Yeah. I mean, all I could tell you,
hip-hop rules the union. And they cuttin’ —
[ Applause ] The only thing I don’t understand, man, they cut money
for public schools but, like, they give more money to build prisons, and
I don’t get that. You know what I’m saying?
Carson: Neither do I.
Wyclef: I don’t get that, Man.
Cso so what’seen the backlash of that now? Is that a big pain in your
ass now ’cause —
Wyclef: No, man. The only thing is my mom, you know. She listens to
silent tv. If she’s watching this right now, she sees this — you know?
Carson: She’s watching the….?
Wyclef: Yeah. And imagine her just looking at the tv, and all she sees
is cuffs on her son like this. So she just trip. And she started and the
little english that she knows, she was, like — she turned to amistad.
She was, like, “my son was free!”
[ Laughter ]
[ Cheers and applaus] “Free!”
Carson: All right, I gotta move on ’cause I have a lot to talk to you
about. I noticed your vest here. You were in europe recently, and you ran
into like a biker’s gang.
Wyclef: Yeah, what happened is — you know, I ride with this gang called
Carson: I didn’t know that.
[ Cheers and applause ] And what do you guys do? You get together, and
you just ride?
Wyclef: Yeah, it’s more like a family ride. My brother-in-law, he got
me into it. What I like about the gang, it’s a family. And the vibe that
they bring is like, if something’s wrong, they want to know. If you’re
a biker, it’s more than just riding motorcycles. It’s principles and discipline.
And I was looking for, like, a group of —
Carson: Was there an initiation to get into the cowboys? Can anybody
just get in?
Wyclef: No, you can’t get in.
[ Laughter ]
Carson: I didn’t necessarily mean for me.
Wyclef: No, ’cause I know —
Carson: My tricycle wouldn’t do well —
Wyclef: I know you ride with your crew and stuff. But it’s basically,
you know, just feeling the family vibe and stuff.
Carson: And you cruise around — do you have a biker name other than
‘clef or wyclef?
Wyclef: I represent music, man. This is my guitar and stuff.And, you
kw, it’s a good thing to do to air your head. But I get to europe, and
like 14 bikers met me at the hotel. And, you know, I’m in england.
Carson: Not the cowboys, though.
Wyclef: No, no. There’s a clique called the rough riders. Not dmx clique,
like, real rough riders that be riding motorcycles. And they straight english.
They was, like, “wyclef jean, we heard you, right, so we came to get you.
Come downstairs right now.” So I rush downstairs, and they have a harley
waiting for me.
Carson: Did you know this gang in england?
Wyclef: No, I didn’t know them. They just seen me on the internet. And
I was telling them, well, in newark, there’s a crew called the cowboys.
They was, like, “no problem. We come to newark. Just have a bike for us.”
But that’s family though.
Carson: You just jump on the harley with them?
Wyclef: Jump on harley, cruise through england, going in the opposite
direction. Almost got hit by a bus.
[ Light laughter ]
Carson: The new album is “masquerade,” and I want to ask you — in the
intro of the album, you said, “this is all a masquerade.” I didn’t know
what you meant by that.
Wyclef: Yeah. All I meant by that was, I rep the projects. That’s the
first place I’m from. And what happens is, I do so much that you forget
that I’m from the projects. I remember being a shorty at 13 years old.
The old man came to me and was, like, “you could choose the drugs, the
guns, or you could choose this way.” ‘Cause he said, “the drugs and the
guns, you make a lot of money, but it’s all a masquerade.”
Carson: Right. Very cool. They’d kill me if I didn’t ask you about the
fugees and if it’s possible for another record.
Wyclef: No problem, man. Let me — I hope lauryn hill is watching this.
I was waiting for you to ask.
Carson: Is this the problem with Lauryn?
Wyclef: I keep it real. I don’t hold my tongue, man.
Wyclef: I wanna do a Fugees record, but —
[ Applause ] Yo, I wanna do a Fugee record, you know what I’m saying?
But lauryn is in one head space, Pras is in another head space. And when
I call Lauryn — if she’s watching this — I’m not calling her ’cause I
wanna do a Fugee record to make money. You know what I’m saying? I miss
the vibe of being with them in the studio. And, right now, I’m more of
a monster than I’ve ever been, and Lauryn is more of a monster than she
ever been. And we still got old masters from the score, mad stuff that
we didn’t record that’s still at the basement with Jerry Wonder.
Carson: Sure, and you’re a biker now, too.
Wyclef: Yeah, and I’m a biker so —
Carson: You could add that into the mix. You’re gonna sing a song here
in a second with claudette from city high, your group. Could she do a Fugees
Wyclef: Nah, nah, City High is going to do like City High albums. City
High is —
[ Laughter ]
[ Applause ]
Carson: Try and find a substitute. All right, we gotta take a break.
We’re gonna come back and perform “two wrongs.” Wyclef plays right after
[ Cheers and applause ]
[ Cheers and applause ]
Carson: Welcome back to “last call.” Here to perform “two wrongs” featuring
claudette from city high, wyclef jean!