J'ouvert, out September 30th, takes its name from the official start of Carnival in the eastern Caribbean. Appropriately, the EP sets the tone for Wyclef's in-the-works album Carnival III: Road to Clefication.
"My goal for J'ouvert was to pick up where I left off after 'Sweetest Girl' and [Shakira's] 'Hips Don't Lie,'" the former Fugee tells Rolling Stone. "I had these Caribbean Sonics Haunting my brain and I knew this EP would be the start to what would become the Carnival 3 album."
The announcement of J'ouvert comes nearly two months after Wyclef released his breezy "Hendrix" and its follow-up "Hendrix (Spanglish Remix)" co-starring Farina, Anonimus and Bryant Myers.
"'Hendrix' is a very deep song for me because when I recorded 'Gone Til November,' it was a song about dudes making drug runs," Wyclef says. "And, in 'Hendrix,' I wanted to remind kids that you always have a choice. I have heard so many kids in the new generation quote 'Gon Til November' so I wanted to tap into the frequency with 'Hendrix' and send a positive message."
In a statement, Wyclef added of "Hendrix," "This speaks to the neighborhood I grew up in and how it didn't look like much. The devil, or the streets, offered drugs and cartel and I chose music. Some homies chose the NBA, or we would see people like Shaq who are from Newark and see how they made it out the danger zone."
Carnival III: Road to Clefication is set for release next summer to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the musician's original Carnival.
J'ouvert EP Track List
1. "Party Started"
2. "Holding on the Edge"
3. "For a Man"
5. "Camels to Ferraris"