Wyclef @ St. Ann Warehouse (Brooklyn, NY)

Nostalgic Fugee fans are buzzing about Lauryn Hill’s whereabouts, but when it comes to Wyclef Jean they need not worry.  With his guitar in tow, he invited the crowd into the “Clef Zone” at Brooklyn’s St. Ann Warehouse Tuesday (11/20) night. Onstage for a live taping for VH1 Soul, Wyclef introduced a medley of new songs from his sixth solo album, The Carnival II: Memoirs Of An Immigrant (Sony BMG). Along with the mask he donned for the Carnival-flavored “Touch Your Button,” Wyclef’s songs revealed his many stage personas.  The new material was filled with uplifting messages with a swaying melody on songs like the lighter-igniting “Heaven’s In New York.” Continuing with his conscious train of thought Wyclef sang, “We cry for peace/But we live for war” on another new track, “Slow Down.” Verbally attacking issues like Hurricane Katrina and stateside poverty; it’s evident that Wyclef is deep in thought.Shedding his edgy Hip-Hop signature over the years, Wyclef has grown comfortable as a smooth crooner. He clutched his guitar with his eyes closed during the slow-rolling “Gone Til November,” with a violin solo supporting his breathy vocals. After a quiet intro, “911” swelled into an electric bombast as Wyclef strummed his guitar with his mouth and above his head. Fans did a double take as the former Fugee morphed into the “Black Elvis” before their eyes. Wyclef then introduced his new artist Niia, who appears on “Sweetest Girl;” his single about the good-girl-gone-bad.In-between songs he brought it back to The Score days with some impromptu freestyle sessions. Aside from his clean-shaven head, Wyclef was a mirror image of his early days spitting clever verses in fast-forward motion. Visibly enjoying himself, Wyclef playfully said, “Call me Ms. Hill” as he sauntered across the stage. He also told a story about a young fan mistaking him for will.i.am. Comfortable in his own skin after more than a decade of work, Wyclef has broadened the scope of his music and showmanship.If Wyclef’s performance is any indication of what to expect from The Carnival II: Memoirs of An Immigrant, then it will be worth every penny.

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