Pras says "it's been a minute" since the release of his debut album, Ghetto Supastar, but it's actually been seven years. During that time, the sometimes-Fugees member became entangled in legal tussles with his former label and refocused on filmmaking, producing and starring in Turn It Up and Go for Broke with fellow hip-hoppers Ja Rule, Faith Evans and Bobby Brown.
The minute is almost up though, as Pras will drop his second record, Win, Lose or Draw, June 14th. The lead single is his interpretation of U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," recorded with the band's blessing.
"I got Bono's cell number, and I called and asked him," Pras recounts on the San Fernando Valley set of the song's video shoot. "He said, 'Really, my biggest record of all time?' I sent him the idea, he played it for the rest of the band, and they loved it. Bono called me back and said, 'Listen, I've never cleared a record for anyone, but I'm a fan of the Fugees and a fan of you. If this record can help you, go ahead and take it.'"
Dancehall star Sean Paul and Pras' cousin and Fugees mate Wyclef Jean both guest on the record. Jean and Pras team for "Angel Sings," continuing good relations after a lingering dispute that ended in September when the long-dormant Fugees (Pras, Jean and Lauryn Hill) reunited onstage in Brooklyn.
But Pras maintains that Win, Lose or Draw is very much his record. "This is my diary, my journey, my perseverance, my tribulation, my pain, my agony, my victory, my everything," he says. "But it's a feel-good record."
In June, before he heads to New Zealand to film his next movie, Mutant Chronicles, Pras will launch a tour. Befitting the album's sound, he'll be backed by a full band. "This is a live album, man," he says. "This ain't your typical hip-hop, bang-bang, in the clubs, popping Cristal . . . I just want people to get a good vibe, and get in a mindset of working things out with their loved ones."
And perhaps the record can turn some people on to U2. "Maybe," Pras says, laughing, "but I think U2 got enough people turned on to them."