Wyclef Jean Recalls Meeting Lauryn Hill, Writing Her Rhymes In New Book

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By: VIBE / September 17, 2012

It was no secret that there was more to Wyclef Jean and Lauryn Hill than just being part of one of the greatest groups of all time, The Fugees. Once the trio dismembered, Wyclef and Lauryn left mouths agape. In is new book Purpose: An Immigrant’s Story, available in stores tomorrow, Wyclef goes in depth about the whirlwind love the two shared. Read excerpts from the book below:

PREVIOUSLY: Wyclef Jean Makes Shocking Claims About Lauryn Hill In New Book

On the day he and Lauryn Hill met:

  • Pras called me one afternoon and said he needed me to come down to this studio to lay down some vocals. “I’m here with those two girls I told you about in this group we callin’ Tyme. We doin’ a track,” he said. “I need you to come sing some of that reggae stuff you’re so good at.” […] The two girls were named Marcy and Lauryn, and the minute I saw Lauryn Hill, I couldn’t believe my eyes. She was in the vocal booth, and when she came through the door to say hello I experienced that feeling when everything stops for a second. It’s a moment I’ll never forget.


On helping to write Lauryn’s rhymes:

  • Soon I was rhyming lines to her that she would memorize on the spot and spit back at me better than I had expected. I was her mentor, and I wrote rhymes for her starting then and for a while to come. I taught her all about rhyming, showing her the swag and style, just the way Chill Rob G had shown me years before. It didn’t take Lauryn long to make her style her own, though. She’s a very gifted woman.


On how the affair affected the Fugees:

  • It’s going to be easy for people to read this and say, “Why did he do that to Lauryn? How could he not go with her? He broke up the Fugees!” I wish it were easy to explain away, but it’s not. Claudette was with me when I had nothing, and she stood by me and helped me to be the man that I have become—the man I wouldn’t have been without her […] It’s easy to listen to the music and hear the romance and love in there and think of what could have been. But the music is the best expression of my relationship with Lauryn. The rest of it wasn’t smooth at all. We were either deeply in love or fighting; there was no middle ground. It was a passionate roller coaster ride, every single day […] The real Lauryn is much more complicated than what comes through in her art. Same goes for me.