Review: Purpose by Wyclef Jean

Original Title:
Purpose: An Immigrant’s Story
By: HarperAudio
Series: N/A
Source: EPL
Format: Audiobook
ISBN: 9780062204882

 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. …

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.


I cannot describe how I felt about this book, it was really inspiring to listen to a story about a man who started from nothing, was brought up by family while his parents went off to America and later brought the remaining children over with them.

Wyclef starts the entire book with hurricane relief he was doing in Haiti. The death of a friend, colleague, etc. dies tragically after a building collapses and landed on a vehicle his friend was sitting in. This sparked the story, of how a young boy went from being a “nothing” Haitian brought up surrounded by disrespect and prejudice by African-American youth in the schools, an influentially, religious father and music.

Music is what made things happen. He was drawn to something like so many other musicians before and after. This book tells Mr. Jean’s discography, in a way no Wikipedia page ever could. His devout relationship to music, to the bands he was a part of, to the relationships he was in and how some of them nearly destroyed his entire music career before it even started.

By the last few chapters the book is narrated back to a more current situation, the hurricane. The relief initiative Wyclef organized to help his people. The scandals and the news and rumours that revolved around it.

Wyclef has a young daughter and to paraphrase he wrote it because eventually she’ll be able to read everything that’s on the internet about her father, and he figured he should lay it all out before this happened.

I wouldn’t blame him. No father should have a reason to hide his life from his own blood. He wasn’t involved in the mob or anything excessive, he was a kid who met amazing people who allowed him to grow up mentally and lyrically, grew up listening to “bum music” and producing albums that have songs that mean more than just one thing to more than just two people.

If you’re a fan or supporter of Wyclef Jean, I think you will enjoy and possibly be inspired that you are able to accomplish anything as long as you are able to put your whole into it.

4 Star signature


About Black ' n Write Reviewer

Library Tech grad who is currently working on a BA in Political Science and filling all her time with books.
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2 Responses to Review: Purpose by Wyclef Jean

  1. Pingback: Weekly Round Up! | Black 'n Write

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