Saturday, September 4, 2010

Wyclef won't be prez, but he can still put on a show

Wyclef Jean's hopes to become president of Haiti were shattered recently, but instead of disappearing the hip-hop star returned to headline the biggest reggae show in New York.

Jean, who was denied eligibility to run for president of his native Haiti because he did not meet residency requirements, was among performers at Hot 97's "On the Reggae Tip Live" concert last night.

He hit the stage performing "Ready or Not," a song made famous by his former group, The Fugees. He then grabbed an electric guitar, and performed "Someone Please Call 911."

While still strumming away on the guitar, he said, "Yall seen me in the news media for like three months straight."

He continued singing, "If I was president, I'd get elected on Friday. Assassinated on Saturday. Buried on Sunday. Then go back to work on Monday." (The words are from his song, "If I Was President," which he recorded years ago.)

He also had some harsh words for his vocal non-supporters, actor Sean Penn and former Fugees group member, Pras.

Penn recently wrote an article for the Huffington Post bashing Wyclef. He even questioned where Wyclef was during the six months after the earthquake, and accused him of only coming around for the media attention. Jean told the crowd that Penn didn't see him in Haiti because he was probably somewhere sniffing coke. (yep, he said it!)

He also shrugged off Pras' feelings by saying, "you only kicked eight bars in The Fugees." Pras has said he wasn't endorsing Wyclef, and instead was backing Michel Martell to be the president of Haiti.

"I'm a revolutionary," Wyclef proclaimed, after going through the crowd and standing on the second tier of the balcony at the Hammerstein Ballroom on 34th Street.

Jean concluded playing the "Star Spangled Banner" on his electric guitar.

He headlined a show that included reggae acts Shaggy, Gyptian, Barrington Levy, Ricky Blaze (with surprise guest Jim Jones), Serani, Ding Dong, Alison Hinds, Elephant Man, Mr. Vegas and Lady Saw.

Mr. Vegas


Alison Hinds


Elephant Man

Barrington Levy

Among the most popular songs was Gyptian's performance for "Hold Yuh." However, the crowd was extremely disappointed there was no Nicki Minaj. It took the steam out of what would have been a great performance.

Shaggy took fans down memory lane, performing hits "Boombastic," "Angel" and "It Wasn't Me." He also performed with curvaceous soca singer Alison Hinds for "Can't Let My Luv Go."

Serani was another highlight of the night, especially when he teamed up with Ding Dong for "Skip to My Lue." They put on a dance exhibition that would have made Don Cornelius and Soul Train proud.

The annual reggae show kicks off Labor Day weekend, which will be highlighted by the West Indian Day Parade on Monday.

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