Hip-hop, R&B and reggae icon Wyclef Jean released his new album From the Hut, To the Projects, To the Mansion, an album that captures his past and future, embracing his struggles in the hood to his glamorous famed life.
The album seems like an attempt for Wyclef to shine in the spotlight and break-through from the past that shadows over him, which includes last decade’s rap group the Fugees and his hit single “Hips Don’t Lie” featuring Shakira.
Although Wyclef’s tussled lifestyle is over, he still battles for the respect and notoriety of the public and strives not to become a washed-up hip-hop artist.
Wyclef’s true feelings are revealed through the “Streets Pronounce Me Dead,” which is by far the most powerful track on the album. His bluntness and carefree attitude unleashes his inner emotions.
Besides the arch of Wyclef’s past and future, this album most certainly blends Wyclef’s renowned artistic talents with today’s hip-hop.
The strength of this album shines through Wyclef’s reggae roots with songs “Walk Away,” “We Made It” and “The Shottas’s.” Unfortunately, songs like songs “Robtic Love” and “More Bottles” featuring Timberland expose his sell-out tactics towards mainstream hip-hop. “More Bottles” has potential to be the next club-banger through the use of its idiotic, yet, catchy chorus and familiar beats only because it imitates this century’s hip-hop, a dying breed.
What gives this album a boost in its rankings is the collaboration of other 1990’s rappers like Lil’ Kim and Eve, because they stick with their traditional styles. Lil’ Kim still represents her dirty lyrics as Eve continues to show-off her sentimental side through her gangster fashion.
Overall, the album is decent, but it is difficult to play all 17 tracks straight through because some of them simply are not worth listening to.