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Download Purpose: An Immigrant’s Story Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Purpose: An Immigrant’s Story, by Wyclef Jean Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (69 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Wyclef Jean Narrator: Sam Jea Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Wyclef Jean is one of the most influential voices in hip-hop. He rocketed to fame in the 1990s with the Fugees, whose multiplatinum album The Score would prove a landmark in music history, winning two Grammys and going on to become one of the bestselling hip-hop albums of all time. In Purpose, Wyclef recounts his path to fame from his impoverished childhood in “Baby Doc” Duvalier’s Haiti and the mean streets of Brooklyn and Newark to the bright lights of the world stage.

The son of a pastor and grandson of a Vodou priest, Wyclef was born and raised in the slums of Haiti, moving with his family to New York when he was nine. He lived in Brooklyn’s notorious Marlboro projects until his father, Gesner Jean, took them to Newark, where he converted a burnt-out funeral home into a house for his family and a church for his congregation. But life in New Jersey was no easier for Wyclef, who found it hard to shake his refugee status. Forced to act as a literal and cultural translator for his parents while still trying to master English himself, Wyclef soon learned that fitting in would be a constant struggle. He made his way by competing in “freestyle” rap battles, eventually becoming the best MC in his school. At the same time, Wyclef was singing in his father’s choir and learning multiple instruments while also avidly exploring funk, rock, reggae, and jazz—an experience that would forever shape his sound. When Wyclef chose to pursue a career in music over attending theological school, Gesner, who hated rap, nearly disowned him, creating a gulf between father and son that would take nearly a decade to bridge.

Within a few short years, Wyclef would catapult to international renown with the Fugees. In Purpose he details for the first time the inside story of the group: their rise and fall and his relationships with Pras and Lauryn Hill.

Wyclef also looks back with candor at the catastrophic earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010 and his efforts to help rebuild his homeland, including the controversy surrounding Yéle, his aid organization, and his exploratory bid for president of the island nation. The story revealed in Purpose is one of inspiration, full of drama and humor, told in compelling detail, about the incredible life of one of our most revered musical icons.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Jean’s passion for music, his fierce love for his family and for Lauryn Hill, his partner in the Fugees, and his deep and abiding devotion to his native country, Haiti, forcefully reach out and grab the reader.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “[A] riveting memoir…Jean is candid in chronicling the drama of the music business and his heartfelt anguish for his homeland while struggling with success and commitment.”


Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Kim | 12/1/2013

    " this was a great read! I read it over in a day and a half. It answered a lot of questions I had about the breakup of the fugees. Loved it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Angela | 11/24/2013

    " Eh. I like Wyclef but I felt like his explanation of his time in the Fugees was kinda crap. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Fawn | 7/18/2013

    " Meh. I suppose it was less egotistical than others I've read. And it did remind me to dig around for The Score. I haven't listened to that in forever. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Donnica | 2/11/2013

    " Very candid book regarding career and personal life... through it he realized what was important... ...character...integrity...family... and home.... "

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About the Author

Wyclef Jean is a multiplatinum Haitian musician and former member of the hip-hop trio the Fugees, as well as an actor and producer. Throughout his career, as a member of the Fugees, a collaborator with other musicians, and a solo artist, he has sold more than fifty million albums. He has worked with such artists as Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Carlos Santana, Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, T. I., Mary J. Blige, and Destiny’s Child.