Haitian Music Spotlight: “Yon Lèt Pou Ayiti” by Wyclef Jean + Lyrics

Haiti is on the “come-up now” as they say . News report dispatches: . Investors and mining companies are setting up shop. Hotels are being built, and entrepreneurs—of Haitian descent or otherwise—are drawing up business plans. Whispers are going around that some in the “developed” world are reportedly becoming Haitian citizens and are buying up land by the acres, and by the blocks. Who knows, perhaps that little sentence (would that be a gerund in grammatical terms?) “the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere”, may be sliced from future news reports? Replaced by something like “the wealthiest island in the world”?

Yes, indeed Haiti is on the come up.

But there was a time when there were few who saw Haiti’s potential, Haiti’s beauty, and least of all embraced the idea of having pride in being Haitian, or having Haitian roots.

But ‘lil Nellus Wyclef Jean did. One only needs to study his musical career to see how much. In the 1990s, when Haitian refugees were washing on Florida beaches, and he was the leader of a top-selling rap group, he never overlooked an opportunity to acknowledge his Haitian origins. And he certainly wasn’t the first rapper of Haitian origin that the hip-hop world had. Wyclef himself once said that 95% of the U.S. hip-hop industry is Haitian.

Knowing all of this about Clef makes listening to “Yon Lèt Pou Ayiti” almost painful. The song, which is one of the first singles off a future EP April Showers, sounds like a counseling center room convo. You know…the sort of love counseling session where the licensed health professional says nothing and listens to the patient on the couch. In this case, the patient is Clef, who’s moaning and groaning about his abundance of love for Haiti, and his hurt at Haiti turning its back on him. Haiti is like a fanm whom he gave everything. She’s like the woman he picked up off the street when very few others were checking for her.

He gives a thorough timeline of the Wyclef-Haiti relationship: shouting Haiti out at the biggest , being called on to create peace in Haiti’s poor neighborhoods, bringing celebs to Haiti to draw positive headline attention to the island nation. Wyclef goes into details: “Mwen voye ti moun ou lopital, bay gro lajan pou ti biznis, chak semenn mwen peye pou antèman ou toujou gin moun mouri—I sent your children to the hospital/Gave up huge stacks of money for small businesses/Every other week I’m paying for some funeral/Seemed like every day someone of yours was dying.”

In the next line, Clef more than hints at character assassination, defamation and slander: “Se pa tout bagay ke ou wè sou nèt ke ou dwe kwè”—it’s not everything you see on the internet that you should take as truth.

But has Haiti turned its back on Clef? “Cheri memwa ou kout/Avan ougoudougou se mwen ki te konn mennen moun vin wè’w”. Lookee here baby, looks like you’re running short on memory/Before the earthquake, I was the one who brought people to come see you. Wyclef is essentially outlining the fact that long before he had a non-profit, he was digging into his own pockets to help Haiti. Long before it was trendy to hop on a plane to go “help” Haiti, he was there, giving assistance.

He was emotionally and materially excessive at the height of his relationship with Haiti. [Lauryn Hill voice] “No stress/if you don’t love in excess”. No human can ever be the savior of a country. Thinking as such can only lead to pitfalls. In analyzing the song’s lyrics and in contemplating Wyclef’s history with Haiti, it is obvious that Wyclef forgot the most important lesson in falling in love, and in being in love: protecting oneself—safeguarding one’s heart.

If the Wyclef and Haiti wish to take another stab at this relationship—er another try at this relationship (the word “stab” here is wholly inappropriate), it must be with new boundaries. When lovers spend time apart, it gives way to some serious self-reflection, and hopefully a stronger relationship. Clef knows it and hints at an eventual reconciliation: “Ayiti tande’m bien, gin on lè cheri map tounin”—Haiti, listen here baby, there’ll be a time when I’ll be back.

“Min nou gin lontan nou pa pale”…it’s been a long time since we’ve sat down and talked, sings Wyclef, and we all know that open and honest communication is the first step in repairing a damaged relationship. Even if the love of before can never be fully recovered, Wyclef needs not worry; Haiti will always love him, as much as he loves Haiti.


Yon Lèt Pou Ayiti

Lèt sa se pou ayiti Cheri
Sakap fet cheri?
Ayiti cheri, nou gin lontan nou pa pale
Chak fwa mwen we seleksyon nasyonal la pitit ou yo fè yon gòl
Mwen eksite…
Saw the soccer game, next stop Goal Cup 2013 Haiti an ale lets go!
Anou pale
Min nou gin lontan nou pa pale! Son nan la ri a di nou fache Ayiti
Pou jan nou te byen out te kwè nan tout mo’m! Min apre eleksyon ou di’m vire do’m
Tan mwen Tan mwen, mwen fè anpil sakrifis
Ou blye m’gin madanm, m’gin pitit, m’gin frè, m’gin sè, m’gin manmanm Miyami.

M’te riske la vi’m pou’m te vin’ baw sèvis
Demil sink si tèlman ou te cho se mwen minm ou te voye negosye pou ou lan geto! Admaral, Dread Wilmer, Tupak, Mackenzi, Sel solusyon mwen te wè se Yele Ayiti

Min fanmi mwen te panse mwen te nayiv, pou lajan personèl mwen te depanse sou ou cheri, mwen voye ti moun ou lopital, bay gro lajan pou ti biznis, chak semen mwen paye pou anterman ou toujou gin moun mouri
Se ou mim mwen te bay tout afeksyon’m, ou mim fe’m depanse lajan’ lan elekson.

Min cheri sa ki fèm pi tris, Coupe Du monde, BET, MTV, Drapo lan main’mwen, ou Rele VIV WYCLEF, le yo te diw m’te vole lajan lan main’w ou di ABAS WYCLEF, mwen ta pito tiye tèt mwen avan’m pran lajan pèp, se pa tout bagay ke ou wè sou net ke ou dwe kwè ! Bagay Nef

Sak Ap fet Cheri….(Ayiti Cheri) Nou gin lontan nou pa pale …(twice)
Min nou gin lontan nou pa pale ! Son Lan La ri a di nou fache Ayiti
Pou jan nou te byen out te kwe lan tout mot’m ! Min après eleksyon ou di’m vire do’m !!

Cheri memwa’w kout, avan DoudouGoudou sete mwen mim kite minin Hollywood vin’we ou, Angeli Jolie, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Petra MenCova, Akon, Farrakan
Sonje mwen te desan djèt la ak Bill Clinton,

Bill, min Martelly, mwen te fè introdiksyon, et tout ti moun ou ye cheri, yap change rap kreyòl, nou rap lan tout lang, anglais, panyòl, cheri lem tounin Kennedy Airport, langichat la vie NewYork, mape travay du, nou di mesi jezi, vrai Gason pran responsabilite pou fami li, pagin rezon cheri pou fè jalouzi, ou bliye ou fèm pedi kontra avèk Sony, Ti frè-m fache li di m’pap jam tounin ayiti, pou jan ou di li rinmin’w gade jan li trayi’w,

Ayiti tande’m byen, gin on lè cheri map tounin, sèl jam map’ka aide’w, mwen ekri on plan, tankou Dennis O’brien, fok mwen fe bilyon, mwen fèk sorti Abu Dabi I ’bati on konpayi, All HandzOnDeck nap fè gro beat, m’lage on mixtape, Clive Davis dim’ sa mwen vle, si tèlman check la gin zero ladan’l m” paka konte. ApriL Showers tande !!


Sakap fèt cheri…
Ayiti cheri
Nou gin lontan nou pa pale
Nou gin lontan nou pa pale
Min nou gin lontan nou pa pale ! Son Lan La ri a di nou fache Ayiti
Pou jan nou te byen out te kwe lan tout mot’m ! Min aprè eleksyon ou di’m vire do’m

Lyrics via

posted in Music

Last Updated on November 10, 2023 by kreyolicious

Kreyolicious in Memoriam | Haitian Music Spotlight: “Yon Lèt Pou Ayiti” by Wyclef Jean + Lyrics

Other Posts

We Will Miss You

In loving memory of our dear friend. We are heartbroken and will miss her dearly. She was a shining light in our lives, with a kind and loving spirit that brought joy to all who knew her. Her passion was an inspiration to us all. We take comfort in knowing that her memory will live on through the website, which was a true testament to her talents and dedication. Rest in peace, dear. You will always be remembered and loved.