World Literature in English, 1998

Carnival by Wyclef Jean

Introduction to 
the album Carnival
lyrics: Carnival, 
 The Score
What is Rap?
For Course Discussion:  
Wyclef Jean -- the "hip-hop Amadeus" and member of the multi-platinum recording group the Fugees -- has drawn from an extraordinarily wide 
musical palette in assembling The Carnival. A kaleidoscopic journey 
through Wyclef Jean's eclectic musical interests, the album features: 
hip-hop appropriations of classic disco ("We Trying To Stay Alive," the 
album's first single); an internationally-recognizable traditional song 
transformed into a hip-hop anthem ("Guantanamera"); cutting edge 
rapping and scratching; four selections in French/Creole ("Sang Fezi," 
"Jaspora," "Yel," and the calypso-flavored "Carnival" -- each has 
been a chart-topping hit in Wyclef's native Haiti); and a non-stop fresh 
blend of far-flung musical influences and streetwise poetry. 
While Wyclef is the primary writer, producer, and performer of The 
Carnival, he's enlisted a wide range of international talent to help him 
realize his musical vision: the Refugee Allstars (Lauryn Hill, Prakazrel, 
John Forte, and Melky Sedeck); the Latin superdiva Celia Cruz (on 
"Guantanamera"); New Orleans musical legends the Neville Brothers 
(on "Mona Lisa"); members of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra 
(conducted by Wyclef on "Gone 'Til November"); the legendary I 
Threes (on "Gunpowder"); and more.from (text and picturesWyclef's web site)

Led by Wyclef, the Fugees returned to the group's Haitian motherland to present an historic concert at the Bicentenaire in Port-au-Prince on April 12. An estimated 80,000 fans gathered to celebrate the group's "homecoming" and the music and art of Haiti in an atmosphere of extraordinarily good vibes and peaceful revelry.

Tracks: Lyrics from the Hip-Hop Lyrics Archive

(1) Intro/Court/Clef/Intro (Skit/Interlude) 
(3) Guantanamera 
(4)Pablo Diablo (Interlude) 
(5) Bubblegoose  
(6) Prelude To "To All The Girls"(Interlude) 
(7)  To All The Girls 
(8) Down Lo Ho (Interlude) 
(9)   Anything Can Happen 
(10) Gone Till November 
(11)  Words Of Wisdom (Interlude) 
(12)    Year Of The Dragon 
(13)  Son Fezee 
(14)  Fresh Interlude 
(15) Mona Lisa  
(16) Street Jeopardy 
(17) Killer M.C. (Interlude) 
(18)  We Tring To Stay Alive 
(19)  Gunpowder 
(20) Closing Arguments (Interlude/Skit) 
(21) Enter The Carnival (Interlude) 
(22) Jaspora 
(23)  Yele 
(24)    Carnival 

Rap: Definition

To the untrained ear, all rap and hip-hop may sound the same, but there's a number of different
 levels in even the simplest rap song.

At its core, hip-hop is a post-modern musical genre that  deconstructs familiar sounds and songs, rebuilding them as entirely new, unpredictable songs. Early  rap records, commonly called "old school," were made by DJs scratching records and playing drum  loops, with MCs rapping over the resulting rhythms.

As the genre progressed, hard-rock guitars and  hard-hitting beats were introduced by Run-D.M.C., the first hardcore rap group, and the scratching  techniques were replaced by sampling. With their dense collages of samples, beats and white noise, Public Enemy took sampling to the extreme, and they helped introduce a social and political
 conscience to hip-hop. That faded in the '90s, as gangsta rap -- originally introduced by NWA,  who used Public Enemy's sound as a template -- became the dominant form. By the '90s, gangsta  rap, which originally was in direct opposition to such pop-oriented rappers as MC Hammer, had  become smoothed over and stylish, and consequently was more popular than ever, as evidenced by the success of pop-gangsta Puff Daddy.  (Rap from All Music Guide, go there for major types, major artists and albums)