Wyclef Jean is running for President in Haiti and looking for supporters. Pras Michel, a fellow Fugee and Haitian, isn’t singing the same tune.
Wyclef Jean has been making waves recently by officially announcing his intentions to run for the Haitian Presidency. The 40-year-old musician is one of the most visible and vocal Haitians in the United States. He has helped raise millions of dollars in support of the victims of the earthquakes that struck in Haiti early this year.
Is Wyclef Jean qualified to lead a country that is in complete and utter disrepair? Of course—he was in the Fugees, remember? Wyclef is a multi-platinum selling artist. He’s won Grammy and Source Awards. If that isn’t the resume of a born leader, I don’t know what is.
But now he needs the support of his closest friends from home. He’s calling for his fellow Haitians to come out and support him in his quest to get the Fugees get back together for a benefit concert—whoops, I meant to lead Haiti towards better tomorrow.
Who better to stand by his side than fellow Fugee and proud Haitian, Pras Michel? Well, err this is awkward, Pras doesn’t want shit to do with Wyclef Jean’s presidential campaign. In fact, he has publicly come out in support of Jean’s opponent Michel Martell, not because he enjoys the alliteration of his name or shares the name Michel, but “because he is the most competent candidate for the job.”
Wow, that stings. Not only will Pras not support his old partner in crime, but he basically cock slaps the whole notion of his presidential campaign, implying he’s too ignorant to run a struggling third-world nation.
Unlike Wyclef, Pras might actually know what he’s talking about. He studied philosophy and psychology at Yale before the Fugees blew up—which means he wasn’t one of those celebrity Ivy Leaguers who gain admittance with a $100,000,000 box office smash and tepid SAT scores.
It means Pras is smart, and smart people don’t elect a musician who dropped out of Eastern Nazarene College to lead their struggling nation. Jay-Z didn’t run for President after 9/11 — he threw a benefit concert. You know, raise money and entertain people with his chosen profession, not try to lead a country that’s cursed by the devil.
When everyone in the U.S. was emptying their pockets to help the Haitians,* Jean’s Haitian charity foundation was coming under scrutiny for financial impropriety and public figures questioned if his foundation had the strength to appropriately distribute food, water, and shelter to the victims of the natural disaster.
(*Except me ’cause I was really poor then, too. Not, like, Haitian poor—I had clothing and food and stuff—but I was paying for my beer with nickels and dimes. That’s struggling. I never wanna go through that again.)
Sean Penn, superhero humanitarian, who has been living in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, for the past few months has been critical of Jean.
“What the Haitian people need now is a leader who is genuinely willing to sacrifice,” Penn said. “I haven’t seen or heard anything of him in these last six months that I’ve been in Haiti. I think he’s an important voice. I hope he doesn’t sacrifice that voice by taking the eye off the very devastating realities on the ground.”
It sounds to me that Jeff Spicoli should be the one running for president.
I have a sneaking suspicion that Jean’s whole campaign to become the next Haitian president is actually a new very creative way to publicize his next album. Pretty soon his campaign song is going to be his first single.
But as of now this doesn’t seem to be a joke, and we owe Pras a thank-you for reminding us that just because Wyclef Jean was in the Fugees, it doesn’t mean he should hold political office. No matter how good their version of “Killin’ Me Softly” was.
BTW: Pras, welcome to the 21st centrury. We haven’t heard from you since “Ghetto Superstar” and I don’t even remember you on that song. Wasn’t it just Ole’ Dirty Bastard and Mya?