The symphony is usually a place for structure, proper concert etiquette, and polite clapping. However, last night there was little structure, dancing in the aisles, and lots of cheering and hollering with hands in the air at the Omaha Symphony. A Night of Symphonic Hip-Hop with Wyclef Jean was a modern symphonic sound with the voice of a platinum-selling rapper at the helm.
Wyclef Jean and the Omaha Symphony at The Holland Performing Arts Center was a unique and amazing experience for concert-goers. Wyclef donned a full tuxedo with bow-tie, rapped in French, and managed to resurrect many old songs. These included renditions of the Bee Gees with “We Trying To Stay Alive,” and Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry” while playing guitar. He performed “Gone Till November,” a song about his homies running drugs, and he even danced with an older white-haired woman in the front row. No, this was not a typical symphony concert.
The throwbacks to his days with The Fugees were plentiful. He played guitar as two lovely young ladies sang, “Killing Me Softly.” Also, “Ready or Not” was a hit. And from the Grammy-winning album, The Score. he rapped beautifully the song, “Fu-Gee-La,” which had interesting lyrics for a symphonic performance.
Yeah in saloons we drink boone’s and battle goons till high noon
Bust rap toons on flat spoons, take no shorts like poon poon’s
See hoochies pop coochies, for gucci’s and lucci
Find me in my mitsubishi, eatin’ sushi, bumpin’ fugees
Truth be told, the fusion of a full symphony with rap lyrics was incredibly unique and soothing to the ear. The concert itself felt like a neighborhood block party. Due to restrictions, video was not allowed at this performance, but listen in to his solo freestyle that he dedicated to the Omaha Symphony. Lastly, Wyclef is currently touring the U.S with his Night of Symphonic Hip-Hop, so get tickets when he is in your town.