*Wyclef Jean stopped by Billboard.com on Friday for a live Q&A that included talk of politics, Justin Bieber and his forthcoming EP, “If I Were President: My Haitian Experience.”
The former Fugees star talked with Billboard editorial director Bill Werde about his Haitian presidential candidacy, which was cut short in August due to a ruling that he was not eligible to compete in the election.
Although disappointed by the outcome of his campaign, Jean insisted that “the hardest part is not me running and… getting punched left and right. The hardest part was Jan. 12,” he said, referencing the earthquake that devastated the country earlier this year. “1.5 million people still living in tents — that’s the hardest part.”
Jean said that the experience of helping rebuild Haiti and preparing to lead the country politically inspired “If I Were President,” which will be released digitally on Dec. 7. During the conversation, Jean picked up a guitar and performed stripped-down versions of “Haitian Experience” and “Earthquake,” two tender songs featured on the EP.
Although Jean spoke seriously about the state of Haiti and his new music, the singer kept the mood light when talking about a possible Fugees reunion (“It’s not out of the question,” he said) as well as the Justin Bieber phenomenon. “I have massive beef with Justin Bieber!” Jean said. “My daughter is five, my niece is four, and the argument which goes on when they’re in their playroom is about who’s going to marry Justin.”
Check out Billboard.com on Monday to watch the archived video of Wyclef’s full interview and performance.
Click here to watch the archived Q&A.