Snubbed Haiti presidential candidate Wyclef to release new CD

Saturday, November 06, 2010    

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WASHINGTON (AFP) — Haitian-born hip-hop artist Wyclef Jean, who was barred earlier this year from running for president of the Caribbean state, announced Thursday that he is releasing a new disc called If I Were President: My Haitian Experience.

The six-song EP produced by Columbia Records will be available on December 7 and includes a song called Election Time, Jean says on his blog.

Jean, a founding member of 1990s hip-hop group The Fugees, announced in early August that he intended to run for president of Haiti in elections due to be held on November 28.

But Haiti's electoral council barred him from running because he did not meet a residency requirement for candidates, who have to have lived for five consecutive years in the Caribbean island state.

Jean lives in the New York area but spent the first nine years of his life in Haiti.

His humanitarian Yele Haiti Foundation has played a prominent role in securing international aid for Haiti after an earthquake levelled much of the capital Port-au-Prince on January 12.

Even before the devastating earthquake, Jean traveled frequently to Haiti to defuse violence in gang-infested slums and help the most disadvantaged Haitians.

In Election Time, Jean says: "If I was president, the first thing I would do is get all them people out of them tents," referring to the cities of canvas that are still home to hundreds of thousands of Haitians put on the street by the quake.

Election Time is not Jean's first song about the Haitian election or the first in which he muses about being president.

After he was barred from running for president of Haiti, Jean released a song accusing Haitian President Rene Preval of sabotaging his presidential bid.

"I know all the cards are in your hands. I voted for you to be president in 2006, why today did you reject my candidacy?" the 40-year-old Jean sang in Haitian Creole.

In a song called If I were President, released several years ago, the Grammy award-winning hip-hop artiste warned then-senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, who were vying to become the US Democratic Party's candidate for the White House, that they had competition — from him.




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