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CNN Profiles: Wyclef Jean goes deep
September 28th, 2012
09:04 AM ET

CNN Profiles: Wyclef Jean goes deep

By Raelyn Johnson, CNN

(CNN) – Finding purpose in poverty; finding purpose in one’s self.

That’s how Wyclef Jean grew up, and that’s how he lives today.

The Haitian American known for chart-topping songs, an intense love affair with Fugees bandmate Lauryn Hill, and most recently his resolute political support of Haiti has put pen to page and authored “Purpose: An Immigrant’s Story.”

In it, he chronicles his journey from red dirt huts in “Baby Doc” Duvalier’s Haiti, to the make-it-or-break-it neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Newark, to worldwide tours as one of hip hop’s favorite stars.

How did he rise from poor to powerful?

How does he feel today about his former love and the one lie that broke them apart?

What did he not have as a child that he wants for his children?

And perhaps most importantly, has his purpose evolved? And if so, how?

The Renaissance man shares those insights and more with you here on CNN Profiles.

Listen to the complete interview above and join the conversation below.

soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Le jardinier

    Why are you not a resident of Haiti. You have family leaving in Haiti, you have an interest in your country, you could find your place in the country. Maybe this will not match with your life as a super star. Leaving in the States is easier and more suitable for your family. You have a lot of admirers and you did good deed for your country in many ways, but Haiti is how you know it. Can you reside in Haiti, would you be happy leaving in Haiti today?
    That is the question?

    September 30, 2012 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
  2. fred

    When you all don't have anything to say, just shut your mouth up............Wyclef has been good for the haitian population and for Haiti so please ...its better to shut up instead of talking to do not say anything

    September 28, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Cincyman

    That boy ain't got any talent, but is one of the upper 1%. I hope Obama gonna to take all his money!

    September 28, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  4. TAfromtheGA

    WOW!! DID CNN DO ANY RESEARCH ON THIS CORRUPT GUY? NOT ONLY DID HE SCREW HOS PEOPLE OUT OF MILLIONS DURING THE HAITIT RELIEF FUND BUT HE GOT FAMILY MEMBERS INVLOVED ALSO...NOW HE IS WRITING A BOOK TO GET "MORE MONEY" NONE OF THAT WILL GO TO HIS COUNTRY I BET SO SCREW THIS GUY YOUR RIGHT HE IS A PERSONAL PIGGY BANK HE CAME FROM SHIT AND AIN'T SHIT......

    September 28, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cincyman

      I could not have said it any better- he is a waste of humanity

      September 28, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
      • blogmebloggingyou

        you
        were
        a
        waste
        of
        5&men

        September 29, 2012 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
    • mike jean

      hater, you aint shit and you will never be yourself.

      September 28, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • blogmebloggingyou

      shut
      Da
      ......ck
      up

      cl0wn

      ts always the same sh.... been repeated over and over , get a ....kng life Pathethic f00l

      September 29, 2012 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
  5. Dee

    Wyclef could have easily sat on his laurels and millions and lived a perfectly comfortable life somewhere in Miami Beach or out of sight, instead he opted to challenge himself and reach for a cause, a cause, obviously dear to him. I don't know the details of his organization's accounting issues but I know Wyclef was already rich and that he didn't NEED to get involved in humanitarian service for a living.

    Musically, Wyclef proved to be a very audacious, ambitious, and courageous artist. He raised his professional standards by NOT staying at the neighborhood rap level he could have easily been successful with. Instead, he reached out to more savvy musicians, such as Santana, Whitney Houston, Celia Cruz and more. He played in Symphony Halls, Opera house and the like. Wyclef sees and heeds BIG, for that he has my RESPECT!!!!

    September 28, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Rostok Tunner

    I'd like to see how deep that goateed boy would dig into his jeans pockets to fish out a dime to give to his brothers!!!

    September 28, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Kathryn

    I like the idea of him running in his government of Haiti. He's experienced two extreme sides of life and that compassion will be helpful. Please take a second to think about the other 10's of thousands that aren't in the public eye and that you don't hear any thing about , at least he's reaching out to his people to make better lives. His faults have been posted across the internet for the world to read, so he may encounter having to provide a response before pursuing, but it's not about what you've done, it's all about what your doing. :))

    September 28, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  8. Chris

    I have a better question for Wyclef, what happened to all that money he raised for the Haitian earthquake? Three years after the disaster which took the lives of over 200,000, has anyone been moved out of those tarp covered huts?

    September 28, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Roger

      Having lead three work teams to Haiti since the earthquake, I can attest to the fact that great progress has in fact been made. From 4months after the disaster to early this summer I would estimate that 90% of the tents are gone. Having said that, it is still Haiti.

      September 28, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Rostok Tunner

      S O B stole all of it...what'd ya expect from this type of presidential ilk???

      September 28, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      Better question Chris : have YOU done anything for haitian relief, or did you spend all of your time hating on Wyclef ?

      September 28, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • blogmebloggingyou

      you re such a cl0wn
      always repeating the same sh.... all the tme GANAG of PATHETIC l0sers

      September 29, 2012 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
  9. Azhane69

    I agree with you...Truth! He's always trying to get into the spotlight to make himself act like he's doing something for others but in reality it's all for his piggy bank. I like that terminology (piggy bank).

    September 28, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  10. truth

    Stop praising this man, do some research on his Yele charity, which he used as a personal piggy bank.

    September 28, 2012 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
    • blogmebloggingyou

      cl0wn

      September 29, 2012 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |