Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Refugee Rock

A lot has been said about Haiti in the wake of the devastating earthquake that hit Port-au-Prince last week. We've heard, for instance, that they are ruled by a corrupt government, that they are the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and that they lack the most basic infrastructures that most of the western world takes for granted. It may be hard to argue with those statements, but there is one thing that Haiti does exceedingly well that no one is talking about, which is - producing some of the most innovative musicians in the world. Whether it's rock, soul or hip-pop, play any of these Haitian artists and you'll feel the earth shake in a good way.

Wyclef Jean
This well known artists has had a stunning career as a solo performer and with the Fugees. Most recently, Jean, who is the nephew of the Haitian ambassador to America, has used his fame to start an organization to better Haiti called Yele (which is currently accepting donations for earthquake victims).

Throughout his career with The Fugees, Pras often took a backseat to Lauren Hill and his cousin, Wyclef Jean. Once he started his solo career however, Pras became a star in his own right; a "Ghetto Superstar" to be exact.

Regine Chassagne
Although the Arcade Fire fireball was born in Canada, it was to parents who had recently fled Haiti during the cruel dictatorship of Jean-Claude Duvalier. Chassagne hasn't forgotten her roots however, as is evident on the song, "Haiti."

David Jude Jolicoeur
This Haitian-American rapper would go on to help form the jazz-rap pioneers, De La Soul.

Born to a Haitian mother and a Puerto Rican father, this neo-soul troubadour has made the ladies swoon and picked up 12 Grammy nominations along the way.


  1. Saul Williams

  2. Anonymous28/1/10 17:01

    Over 10,000 hits! Happy anniversary AOoN!!!