Throwback: Wyclef Jean-Guantanamera featuring Celia Cruz, Lauryn Hill & Jeni Fujita
Wyclef Jean’s version of “Guantanmera” featuring Queen of Salsa Celia Cruz, Lauryn Hill and Jeni Fujita appears on his first solo album, Wyclef Jean Presents The Carnival. Cruz had recorded the song about Cuban patriotism several times before working with Jean on his version. He changed the lyrics to a tale about a beautiful woman, and Hill rapped about her power over men. Culturally, “Guantanamera” had Cuban, Haitian, and African-American references, making Jean’s tribute unlike any other. The video was played heavily on MTV, and the single received a Grammy nomination. The Carnival was critically acclaimed and it performed by music industry metrics. But most importantly, the album connected with people worldwide and Jean created a legendary collaboration with Cruz. Jean’s solo debut does not sound like any other rap album and “Guanatanamera” is still a favorite from his catalog because of its warmth and originality. Jean released Wyclef Goes Back To School Volume 1 in 2019, and it is his is 9th solo album. The Fugees reunited at The Roots’ 2023 picnic for the first time since their 2021 Global Citizen Festival performance.