Wycelf Jean
Wycelf Jean (courtesy)
If you go
What: Wyclef Jean
When: 2:30 p.m. Friday
Where: Coors Event Center, Kitterage Loop Dr., Boulder, 303-492-7704
Cost: free
More info: programcouncil.com
Time to put the politics of 4/20 aside and focus on the music, because [insert platitude about music uniting us all].

Of course, with an artist like Wyclef Jean, that can be next to impossible. Jean made a run to become the president of his home country Haiti back in 2010, and he's been an advocate for various causes in Haiti throughout his career, especially since he established the Yele Haiti Foundation in 2005. Most recently, he's had a voice in the controversy following the Trayvon Martin shooting with his track “Justice.”

“Our point of view is not, you know, a black issue or a white issue or a green issue,” Jean said on Monday, after talking with us about 4/20. “It's the issue of a 17-year-old, who at the end of the day could have been any color. That's not the point. The point is a 17 year-old should not be shot cold-blooded and the person who did it is just allowed to walk.”

So even the music is infused with a cause, but let's step away. After all, Jean is something of a hip-hop legend. First there was his stint in the hip-hop trio The Fugees, with his cousin Pras Michel and Lauryn Hill.


When they went their separate ways in 1997, Jean ended up being the one with the lasting power in his solo career.

Some might argue he's been far from the spotlight lately, and the best answer to that is: “Cash moves everything around me / Dolla dolla bill, y'all.”

Boom. Stuck in your head.

It seems like he's always in the studio, whether he's collaborating with other artists on a single track or working on his next album. Right now, he's doing a little bit of both.

“I got my new album started. It's called The Carnival 3,” he said. “We got some new songs comin' out. Some of the stuff that I'm doing is like electro against acoustic. I would say my next album is probably going to be a fusion of acoustic, and the other side, it's going to be dance, because you know I like to dance.”

Jean has been busy behind the scenes, too, particularly with his boutique label, All Hands On Deck (because “our hands is on everything,” he said). One of his recent projects found him working with Cris Cab, who will be one of the openers at tonight's show.

“Well Cris Cab right now is the youngest phenomenon that I'm working with,” Jean said. “We just trying to find certain artists that are just gonna be different, but that have some musicality to them. The Cris Cab project just landed in our arms, [and] if a song's gonna blow up, I always blow it up first.”

Program Council is planning to step up their game production-wise for the Coors Event Center, though they didn't give specifics.

“The production with this is going to be pretty insane,” director Heather Starbuck said.

Marketing coordinator Connie Redfield added, “It's gonna be even bigger and better. As far as production, it's going to be better than anything we could do on Farrand Field.”

Jean said excited to come to campus, regardless of the date.

“For me college is always special because I remember when I was in college, I had a typical college band and we'd be playing campus parties and that type of stuff,” he said. “I have a whole rebellious-type rebel spirit in me.”

The show starts at 2:30 p.m. and doors open at 2, but don't forget to be there by 4, when the venue will be closed.