How does one followup a 2007 critically acclaimed studio album featuring the likes of will.i.am, Lil Wayne, Norah Jones, and Paul Simon among others?
Well, when it comes to Wyclef Jean, how does a 13-track, Eve, Timbaland, Maino, and Cyndi Lauper-assisted, DJ Drama-produced EP sound? Titled From The Hut To The Projects To The Mansion and due for release on November 10th via Carnival House, the EP tells the story of Toussaint St. Jean, a persona suggested to Jean by friend and collaborator T.I. The character Toussaint is loosely based on the 18th-century Haitian revolutionary hero, Toussaint LOuverture.
As an issued press release explains, “Wyclef recreates himself in the spirit of a noble fighter, a man who says exactly what is on his mind. Toussaints rhymes hit hard, in a ‘militant style,’ and make his words felt and remembered.” The album’s storytelling recalls the “raw environments in Haiti and Brooklyn from which Wyclef emerged ‘from the hut to the projects to the mansion,’ as he memorably puts it in Slumdog Millionaire. Its a story arc that these songs make compelling.”
It goes on: “Jean views the message of ‘Toussaint St. Jean’ as ‘not everything that appears bad is really bad, because the real bad men move in silence. So be careful what you emulate, because its could get you six feet deep. If you dont see me with a gun, it doesnt mean that the guy with the gun is badder than me. Ive been in those communities, but youve got to rise past that world.'”
And if that wasn’t enough, the EP will serve as a prelude to Jean’s next full-length, which is titled wyclefjean and scheduled for release early next year. The album is said to reflect a three-dimensional portrait of an artist for whom the gritty sagas of Toussaint St. Jean are just one part. Heavy stuff for sure, so get ready.
From The Hut To The Projects To The Mansion EP Tracklist:
01. Interlude From The Hut, To The Projects, To The Mansion
02. Warriors Anthem
03. The Streets Pronounce Me Dead
04. Slumdog Millionaire (feat. Cyndi Lauper aka Luscious Loo)
05. Interlude Every Now & Then
06. Walk Away
07. More Bottles (feat. Timbaland)
08. You Dont Wanna Go Outside
09. Toussaint vs. Bishop
10. Interlude The Struggle
11. We Made It
12. Suicide Love (feat. Eve)
13. Letter From The Penn
14. Robotic Love
15. Gangsta Girl
16. Interlude Tell The Kids The Truth
17. The Shottas