On this day, June 24, in hip-hop history...

Ruffhouse Records
Ruffhouse Records

1997: Wyclef Jean decided to branch out to pursue a solo career after releasing the widely successful The Score with The Fugees. The result was his debut album, The Carnival, which moved away from the popular gangster rap aesthetic at the time and embodied a variety of rich genres.

Many have argued that ‘Clef was the genius behind the Fugees’ sound. It seems apparent on The Carnival, where he relies on all facets of influences rather than just pure hip-hop. On The Carnival, he combined reggae, soul, disco, Caribbean grooves, Haitian music and more to create a thrilling atmosphere for the listener. It shows in the boundaries he was pushing on the production and songwriting.

The Carnival gathers Fugee members who are all sprinkled on selected tracks. The album also spawned singles “Gone Till November,” “We Trying To Stay Alive,” “Guantanamera” and “To All The Girls.” It was one of Wyclef’s top-selling albums—with over five million copies sold—and was certified double platinum. In short, it was Jean's strongest work that opened the doors for newer fans.

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