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Now I don’t. I used to love Wyclef, but now I don’t.

I was a product of the eighties and a child of the nineties. I grew up with my finger on the record button of my boom box, waiting to rip “Killing Me Softly” and “Ready Or Not” from the local radio station onto a cassette for my rough-cut mixtape.

I was a child who knew nothing of love, but knew what it was to love a melody. I knew what it was to rush home to catch the bit of music videos on TRL. I played air guitar to Wyclef and sang with my eyes closed to Lauryn. I knew what it was to attempt to recreate Lauryn’s naturally coiffed hair.  

And yes, she was beautiful. A desirable Nubian beauty with full lips and curious eyes and brows as strong as her voice. Her voice, it sang the timeless soundtrack to every urban love story and “When it Hurts So Bad,” still hurts just as good today as it did in 1998, it’s easy to see how a man could be hypnotized by her being.

Ms. Hill was timelessly intangible and indeed too good to be true.

But our sweet, sweet Lauryn, no she isn’t untouchable, her music is, and we may have been confused by the two.

Her recent media melee has proved this. After vanishing from public sight in a manner unknown in the realm of celebrity overexposure, Lauryn resurfaced to catch some air, and was instead stifled with claims of tax evasion, slapped with jail time and as of yesterday, exposed by her former bandmate.

In the last ditch effort to remain in the spotlight, Wyclef Jean, wrote the details of his affair with Lauryn in his autobiography, claiming that she led him to believe that her first pregnancy was a product of their affair.

When it was revealed that Zion was fathered by her soon-to-be husband, Rohan Marley, the already married Wyclef was hurt, and cites the Fugees’ disbandment on his inability to be inspired with Lauryn as his muse any longer.

The concept of black empowerment has been a central part of The Fugees’ message since their inception, but Clef was so quick to turn on his black women; first turning on his wife for an affair, and now on Lauryn for his personal gain, ranked by book sales.

Is there no loyalty?

After winter must come spring, change comes eventually. Guess it got real cold, Clef.

In a September 2007 interview with Blues & Soul, Wyclef spoke on Lauryn’s state, saying:

“I feel the first issue that needs to be addressed is that Lauryn needs help… In my personal opinion, those Fugees reunion shows shouldn’t have been done, because we wasn’t ready. I really felt we shoulda first all gone into a room with Lauryn and a psychiatrist… But, you know, I do believe Lauryn can get help. And, once she does work things out, hopefully a proper and enduring Fugees reunion will happen.”

She needed help.

He acknowledged that she needed mental help, but wouldn’t take a moment to evaluate how kicking a woman who is already down would further lead to her demise.

The Fugees were the highest selling rap group of all time in an era before reality television, in a time where the information we received about our lyrical heroes came from The Source interviews.

These songs belonged to us, they were the songs of our heartbreak, and now we must surrender them to Clef and his allegations. 

Forgive him fans, for he knows not what he does. As for me, I long for the elusiveness of the celebrity, when the closest I could feel to them was a Word Up pull out poster taped lazily on the crumbling walls of my East Flatbush apartment.

Now I don’t. I used to love you Clef, but now I don’t. You’ve tarnished beautiful songs, beautiful things, with words that could have remained unspoken. 

Rachel Hislop

Rachel is the Associate Editor and Senior Style Writer for GlobalGrind.com, proud graduate of a SUNY school, and as sarcastic as they come. Follow her on Twitter for random daily ramblings @MiissHislop

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