Wyclef Jean's Next Act: Tech and Cannabis

August 8, 2018

By Michael Teich

Music artist and producer Wyclef Jean is a three-time Grammy winner, cannabis entrepreneur, and a former presidential candidate of Haiti.

Now, he's looking to create the world's first hip-hop guitar.

"It's a whole new instrument," Jean said Wednesday in an interview on Cheddar. "It's software-based with actually real strings."

When Jean isn't piloting his latest projects, he's acting as a mentor for up-and-coming artists. The music mogul recently partnered with Fiverr, a digital marketplace for freelancers, and will offer his advice to users of the company's new platform, Fiverr Pro Music and Audio.

Freelancing is a delicate balance –– one that many Americans are forced to strike in a gig economy. A recent study from the Department of Labor found that 10.1 percent of workers earn their keep in "alternative environments," like temp agencies or freelance industries.

And the music business isn't exactly hospitable: In 2017, recording artists only earned 12 percent of the income produced by the industry, a marginal piece of a $43 billion market in the U.S.

His latest partnership with Fiverr allows Jean to help artists and enter a classroom, albeit a virtual one.

“If I wasn’t going to be famous, I was going to be a teacher.”

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