Purpose

  • by Wyclef Jean, Anthony Bozza
  • Narrated by Sam Jean
  • 9 hrs and 1 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Wyclef Jean is one of the most influential voices in hip-hop. He rocketed to fame in the 1990s with the Fugees, whose multiplatinum album, The Score, would prove a landmark in music history, winning two Grammys and going on to become one of the best-selling hip-hop albums of all time. In Purpose, Wyclef recounts his path to fame from his impoverished childhood in "Baby Doc" Duvalier's Haiti and the mean streets of Brooklyn and Newark to the bright lights of the world stage.
The son of a pastor and grandson of a Vodou priest, Wyclef was born and raised in the slums of Haiti, moving with his family to New York when he was nine. He lived in Brooklyn's notorious Marlboro projects until his father, Gesner Jean, took them to Newark, where he converted a burnt-out funeral home into a house for his family and a church for his congregation. But life in New Jersey was no easier for Wyclef, who found it hard to shake his refugee status. Forced to act as a literal and cultural translator for his parents while still trying to master English himself, Wyclef soon learned that fitting in would be a constant struggle. He made his way by competing in "freestyle" rap battles, eventually becoming the best MC in his school. At the same time, Wyclef was singing in his father's choir and learning multiple instruments while also avidly exploring funk, rock, reggae, and jazz - an experience that would forever shape his sound. When Wyclef chose to pursue a career in music over attending theological school, Gesner, who hated rap, nearly disowned him, creating a gulf between father and son that would take nearly a decade to bridge.
Within a few short years, Wyclef would catapult to international renown with the Fugees. In Purpose he details for the first time ever the inside story of the group: their rise and fall, and his relationships with Pras and Lauryn Hill.
Wyclef also looks back with candor at the catastrophic earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010 and his efforts to help rebuild his homeland, including the controversy surrounding Y√Čle, his aid organization, and his exploratory bid for president of the island nation. The story revealed in Purpose is one of inspiration, full of drama and humor, told in compelling detail, about the incredible life of one of our most revered musical icons.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Deep!!!!

Would you consider the audio edition of Purpose to be better than the print version?

Yes the narrator was his brother so it sounded just as if he was telling the story.


Any additional comments?

I loved loved this book.... I can't imagine going through what he went through as a child. However I would have beat his butt too after all his parents sacraficed, he comes here and do the things he did...Try to kill his grandma oh my god I was stunned lol.. But his rise to fame was that of a man with AMBITION! I applaud him for that. His relationship with Lauren was the best part ever because everyone speculated back then but it wasn't a big story. Great book thanks for sharing

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- Kyra Erica "Danielle Nicole"

A Compelling Autobiography!

I really enjoyed this biography. The story was compelling and though it is obviously a little biased (there are two sides to every story) I finished the book liking Wyclef even more. If you grew up listening to the Fugees and Wyclef like I did you should definitely read this book. Sam's narration is an added benefit because it makes the reader feel like they are listening to Wyclef himself.
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- Julia

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-18-2012
  • Publisher: HarperAudio