Exclusive – Fugees fans worldwide rejoiced in September 2021 when Wyclef Jean, Lauryn Hill and Pras announced they were hitting the road for a reunion tour to commemorate the 25th anniversary of their Grammy Award-winning sophomore album The Score. But after just one performance in New York City, the celebrated Hip Hop trio was forced to pull the plug and unable to move forward with the remaining international dates, citing issues stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Friday (July 1), Wyclef was back in full swing, performing several Fugees classics alongside Ms. Hill at the 2022 Essence Festival in New Orleans. Prior to the show, Wyclef spoke to HipHopDX about his debut solo album Wyclef Jean Presents The Carnival, which he’s performing in its entirety at a NOLA club on Sunday (July 3) to mark its 25th anniversary as well. The concert will be livestreamed on Amazon’s Twitch channel beginning at 8 p.m. CT. During the conversation, Wyclef also provided an update on the reunion tour.
“All I could do is tell you that with the Fugees, I’m very excited and I look forward to it getting rescheduled,” he said. “I look forward. As a fan of the Fugees, I’m very excited. All I could do is just tell all the fans, do not lose hope, because y’all know we the Hip Hop Grateful Dead. We going to get this thing cracking [laughs].”
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As for future plans, Wyclef is preparing his next solo album, 2097, which will serve as the follow-up to 2019’s Wyclef Goes Back to School Volume 1.
“The new album is going to be called 2097, and in the next couple of weeks, we’ll be putting out the first single from 2097, which will lead into a body work lead-in to The Carnival,” he told DX. “I need y’all to go back with me. Go to ‘AfriCali.’ I need y’all to Google, go back to 1990.
“This is four years before the Fugees, so the first song I ever put out were the house music records. It was a house song because back then, we used to dance a lot and we loved house music because of how it made people feel in the clubs.”
He added, “All I can do is tell you I was very inspired and y’all know my music is all about the journey. So, get ready, because we got 2097. Prince had ‘1999,’ right? We have 2097.”