CARNIVAL VOL. II: Memoirs of an Immigrant (Exclusive)
More Bob Marley than Bambaataa, Haitian emcee/producer Wyclef Jean is hip-hop's most globally minded star. Jean shot to stardom in the mid-'90s as a key member of the immensely popular Fugees. Though that group only released two proper albums, and disbanded before following up the multi-platinum The Score, their footprint remains heavy on everything from boho rap to mainstream hip-hop. After their tumultuous dissolution, Wyclef released his solo debut The Carnival in 1997. Whether experimenting with Caribbean rhythms ("Guantanamera") or pop ballads ("Gone 'Till November"), the album was a celebration of eclecticism. His next four disks ranged from decent (2000's The Ecleftic: 2 Sides II A Book) to great (04's Welcome To Haiti Creole 101), but they were always unpredictable and fun. In 2006, he had his biggest hit since the days of the Fugees when he produced Shakira's dancefloor anthem "Hips Don't Lie." He returned to the charts in 2007 with "Sweetest Girl," a smash featuring it-boyz Lil' Wayne and Akon. His sixth album, Carnival, Vol. 2, was released in December, 2007.