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Wyclef Jean Unleashes His 'Inspired By' Mixtape

The Fugee founder released a new project inspired by who he loves in music. 

Last September, Wyclef Jean released his new album Carnival III: The Fall and Rise of a Refugee, which served as the third installment from his revered Carnival series. The 48-year-old plowed his way to another sizzling release, courtesy of his multi-faceted abilities on both the mic and guitar. Three months later, The Fugees star returns with a new mixtape titled Wycelf Jean Inspired By, which aims to win the ears of young and ravenous MCs in today's rap circles.

READ: Wyclef Jean’s Grown & Sexy “Turn Me Good” Video

While many artists from the '90s are despondent to today's quality of music, Clef has gleefully embraced the changes with open arms, so much so that he briskly whipped up a project in hopes of testing his musical genius. Wyclef Jean Inspired By finds 'Clef wrestling with some of today's hottest records and sprinkling his vintage flavor on it. Tracks like Kendrick Lamar's "DNA" and Giggs "Ultimate Gangsta" were ransacked by Clef for his creative amusement and flipped in his own special way.

"I think fans are really going to be surprised because this one, I took it back straight to the culture," Clef tells Billboard. "I went back to the cafeteria days, the battle MC days."

You recently released your album Carnival 3 and now you're back with your new mixtape Wyclef Jean Inspire By. What made you decide to come back with a new project so quickly?
Wyclef: This for me, it reminds of the late '90s where in Jamaica and the Islands what we used to do -- because I used to play for a sound system too, Refuge Sounds -- the artists would put out the album, but the 45's were what always dictated the streets. An artist could cut an album and the next thing you know, he got like 10 new joints out on 45.

So for me, it's a beautiful era because you get to put albums out and at the same time, when you want to talk to the culture, you put the mixtape out. You know, I just feel like with all the kids talking about Wyclef Jean and different things, I was like, "What would happen if I'm from 1997 and I took everything that inspired me from 2017 and wanted to flip?"

Now, I'm back on the courts, for real. So when I do "DNA," when Kendrick hears it, or A$AP Ferg hears me spitting or when Kodak [Black] hears it, it's like, "Really Clef?" I didn't only take my time to bar-up, I also did a lot of re-production with guitars and playing on the track. So for me, I was really inspired, you know?

Not a lot of veteran MCs would be willing to flip a Kodak Black track, but yet, you were willing to do that. How were you able to put your pride aside to not only have fun with this project, but also show off your skill set?
Think it about, though? Can you imagine if Prince was like, "Yo. I'm gonna do a mixtape and I'm gonna flip?" Or Micheal [Jackson] or Whitney [Houston] was like, "I'm gonna flip?" At the end of the day, when you have a dude that plays like 15 instruments and actually can write for an entire orchestra, right, people keep forgetting that's the genesis of my DNA.

I was an extra for Eric B and Rakim. I was barely 18-years-old. ["Don't Sweat the Technique"] was my first music video ever. The hip-hop is embedded in my soul, you know what I mean? So when I hear like the new kids, it's not a matter of pride, because at the end of the day, the culture is the culture. [The new kids] don't see me often because I'm an alien.

So when they see me show up in person with the guitar, the drums, and all of that, now I'm talking to them in their language. We all have a coded language. The '90s had that. We're in the trap-era. There's a code and language. I think that's what the tape is going to do. It's going to breakthrough to the new generation. It's going to be make the Carnival fans wake up a little bit and go back like, "Oh. Maybe Clef has a project out." [Laughs].

Which remix or track was the most challenging for you to flip?
Man, that is such a good question [Laughs]. Yo, the hardest one was "DNA."

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10 Rap Lyrics About Fatherhood

The theme of fatherhood has always been a fixture in rap music. Whether it's the hottest emcees spitting rhymes about their fathers, their own experiences having children, or even imagining the possibilities of having kids, the subject invokes a spiral of emotions. These records find artists at their most vulnerable and intimate, allowing them to share more about their lives, use their experiences to give advice to listeners and to share the emotional highs and lows associated with such relationships and memories.

For instance, Jay-Z has been vocal in his records about not only his love for his three children, but his challenges in fatherhood and his own strained relationship with his late father. For the first decade-plus of his career, he dissed his dad on wax every chance he got. On "Hova Song" from his 1999 album Vol. 3... Life and Times of S. Carter, he shares that his dad wasn't present in his life and no love was lost there. "Retrospect, ain't been the same since I lost my dad/He still alive, but still f*** you don't cross my path." But he also used his music to chronicle how they mended their relationship before his father's death, and how their journey made him doubt his own ability to raise a child.

Much like Jay Z, other rappers such as Nas, Eminem and others have shared their stories about their fathers, both positive and negative. But their music captures it all. So, for this Father's Day it's only right to highlight 10 verses about fatherhood from some of hip-hop's greatest.

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Nas - "Daughters"

“I finally understand/It ain't easy to raise a girl as a single man/Nah, the way mothers feel for they sons/How fathers feel for they daughters/When he date, he straight, chip off his own papa/When she date, we wait behind the door with a sawed-off/‘Cause we think no one is good enough for our daughters/Love.”

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Jay-Z - "Glory"

“Life is a gift, love, open it up/You're a child of destiny/You're the child of my destiny/You're my child with the child from Destiny's Child.”

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Slick Rick - "It's a Boy"

"So it ain’t forgotten, hope I don’t spoil the nigga rotten/Also, don’t discriminate white, he’ll be quite bright, if taught him right/If not he like ask heavenly father, help me raise my shorty right.

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Eminem - "Hailie's Song"

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2Pac - “Letter 2 My Unborn”

“Please take care of all my kids and my unborn child/To my unborn child…/This letter goes out to my seeds/That I might not get to see ‘cause of this lifestyle/Just know your daddy loved you/Got nothin' but love for you/And all I wanted was for you to have a better life than I had.”

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J. Cole - "She's Mine Pt. 2"

“Reminisce when you came out the womb/Tears of joy I think filled up the room/You are now the reason that I fight/I ain't never did nothing this right in my whole lifeGot me thinking…”

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Ja Rule - "Daddy's Little Baby"

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The Game - "Like Father Like Son"

"They say every time somebody die, a child is born/So I thank the nigga who gave his life for the birth of my son."

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Meek Mill - "Save Me"

"I just pray Papi forgive me, ain't seen my son a while (I pray) I go and pick him up from school to see him fucking smile (facts)."

6Lack - "Never Know"

"I got a baby on the way, I think about it every day/They think that paper gon’ change me, I do this shit for my baby.”

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Drake reacts in the first half during Game Five of the 2019 NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors at Scotiabank Arena on June 10, 2019 in Toronto, Canada.
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Drake To Drop Two New Songs After Toronto Raptors Win NBA Title

As fans of the Toronto Raptors celebrate in the streets over the team's first NBA title, their biggest supporter Drake is dropping two new singles.

The rapper quickly took to Instagram Live Friday (June 14) after the big win to show off some his chips (he hasn't found the dip yet) and casually shared the news. "Much love to everybody, to the family, much love to the guys, congratulations, two songs dropping tomorrow, a championship to the city of Toronto for the first time ever, congrats. Well deserved for the people."

Drake teased the two pack with the song titles, "Omertà" and "Money in the Grave" featuring Rick Ross.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

THE CHIP TO THE 6!!!!!!!!!!!! SEE YOU 2MRW WITH A 2 PACK LETS GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO 👌🏽👌🏽👌🏽

A post shared by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on Jun 13, 2019 at 9:50pm PDT

Drake previously teased "Omertà" by way of an Instagram comment earlier this year. The term is a Southern Italian code of silence and honor which is basically in the same vein of no snitching. The rapper is clearly happy about his team taking the title as he even stopped to chat with reporters after the big game.

Drake really did a post game interview 🤣 #NBAFinals pic.twitter.com/ulXTz4unvY

— Vibe Magazine (@VibeMagazine) June 14, 2019

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Vic Mensa Debuts Band 93PUNX And Drops Bold Single "Camp America"

Vic Mensa's new band 93PUNX are here to deliver a poignant message about migrant children in their video for "Camp America."

Released Friday (June 14), the visuals for "Camp America" showcase Mensa in ICE gear with white children locked in cages similar to "family detention" centers that currently filled with children of color separated from their families. The children are also shown playing in the cages, drinking from a toilet bowl wrapping themselves in thermal blankets.

"We’ll be living it up, not giving a f**k / Splitting you up, then we put you in cuffs," Mensa sings. "Then we shipping you off / Yeah, you could get lost at Camp America.”

The song is based on ICE director Matthew Albence’s quote comparing the detention centers to “summer camp." Mensa tells The Daily Beast why he wanted to use white children as means to show "that twisted alternate reality."

“I thought that was a crazy f**king idea and wanted to create a world with this song that imagined that twisted alternate reality, where it was fun for kids to be held as prisoners, drinking out of toilets, away from their parents, and somehow enjoy it like one might at a summer camp," he said. “My intention for using white kids as opposed to minority children is to point out the blatantly obvious fact that this would never happen to white kids in this country or maybe anywhere on this earth. Although the nature of the actions the kids were involved in was graphic or shocking, it was all taken from actual occurrences reported at ‘detention’ centers.”

Mensa says that the children and their parents were aware of the political messages in the video. “All of the children’s parents were present and the children were really smart and understood the political statement being made—they wanted to be a part of it," said. "Nothing about this is about shaming white children; it’s about showing that this simply would never happen to white children.”

This week, the Trump administration announced plans to use an Oklahoma military base that was used in World War II as an internment camp for Japanese and Japanese American to hold undocumented immigrant children. Huff Post reports the administration cited “a dramatic spike” in unaccompanied minors with 41,000 detained by border officials this year.

Other policial statements have been made this week from nonprofit organization RAICES and ad agency Badger & Winters. The group placed pop-up cages with dolls crying across New York City for their campaign called #NoKidsInCages. 

Watch "Camp America" below.

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