2002-11-02 / Front Page

Music Superstar Wyclef Jean Joins ‘The Mission’

By Gary G. Toms

Music Superstar Wyclef Jean Joins 'The Mission'


Left to right: Boedai Entertainment President Kelli Cooper, recording giant Wyclef Jean, and DJSKI973, Vice-President of Boedai Entertainment, are pictured at a recent production meeting.Left to right: Boedai Entertainment President Kelli Cooper, recording giant Wyclef Jean, and DJSKI973, Vice-President of Boedai Entertainment, are pictured at a recent production meeting.By Gary G. Toms

Singer, rapper and producer extraordinaire Wyclef Jean will appear in "The Mission Is Possible: A Youth Awareness Documentary," which was filmed at the Queens Public Library's Arverne Branch over the summer. The project now is in post- production, and the film is expected to receive rave reviews. The documentary centers around four ex-cons (three males and one female) in rap sessions with at risk youth and parents from the Rockaway area.

The project is a collaboration between Boedai Entertainment, Real 2 Reel, and several sponsors, some of which include BEST BUY, The Queens Public Library, DuArt Film & Video, Entenmanns and the Weed and Seed Program.

Kelli Cooper, also known as "Kelli C", the founder, President, and CEO of Boedai Entertainment, was a producer on the film. She graduated from Far Rockaway High School in 1984, and continued her education at St. Francis College, where she earned a Bachelor of the Arts in Communications in 1989.

It was also in 1989 that Cooper joined the New York City Police Department. In 1996, she was named Police Officer of the Year, and she is currently a delegate in the Guardians Association, an organization within the NYPD consisting of black law enforcement representatives. Her present assignment is Youth Officer at the 114th Precinct, in Astoria. Cooper is a 13-year veteran of the force.


The documentary began filming back in July at the Queens Public Library's Arverne Branch.The documentary began filming back in July at the Queens Public Library's Arverne Branch.

Wyclef Jean first hit it big as a prime mover in the groundbreaking Fugees, whose 1996 masterpiece The Score stands as one of the most influential records in hip-hop history. On that album, Wyclef pioneered a production style that became unavoidable throughout the rest of the '90s: real life street hip-hop seasoned with a radio-friendly musical, lyrical and vocal sophistication. The Score sold more than 11 million copies worldwide, won two Grammys (including Best Rap Album), and paved the way for the successful solo careers of all three of its members.

In 1997, He released "Wyclef Jean Presents the Carnival," a double-platinum album that featured the emotionally powerful hit single "Gone Till November," which earned him a Grammy nomination in the Best Male R&B Vocal Performance category. His second solo CD, The Ecleftic -- 2 Sides II A Book, was even more musically adventurous than his previous work; from the pulsating "Dirty South" to the socially-conscious neo-protest ballad "Diallo" to the R&B smash "911," in which he performed a duet with Mary J. Blige.

In addition to his solo work, Jean found time to collaborate with Whitney Houston on her smash "My Love Is Your Love" and Carlos Santana on his chart-topping hit, "Maria Maria."

Recently, Wyclef has worked with Mick Jagger and Sinéad O'Connor on their latest releases, as well as collaborations with U2, Destiny's Child, Michael Jackson, and Rita Marley.


The film features a dialogue between four ex-cons, troubled Rockaway kids and their concerned parents. The ex-cons are (left to right) Elsun Birmingham, Maria Santana, Raheem Bernard Harley, and Justice Stewart.The film features a dialogue between four ex-cons, troubled Rockaway kids and their concerned parents. The ex-cons are (left to right) Elsun Birmingham, Maria Santana, Raheem Bernard Harley, and Justice Stewart.

"Wyclef kept it real," said DJ SKI973, Vice President of Boedai Entertainment.

The multi-talented artist and producer noted the importance of the project and its message.

"Parents should try being a friend to their kids," said Jean.

"Youth trying to get into the music industry should get an education because the industry is hard to break into today."

"The video centers on steering youth on the right track, avoiding a life of crime and encouraging youth to strive for positive goals," said Cooper.

Director Jason Scianno, whose music video credits (as a production manager) include Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Tony Bennett, Brandy, and Usher, will give the documentary a music video look to appeal to youth. Poplife music recording artists "Series," will host the documentary.

Other sponsors include Paragon Honda, See Factor, Expendables Plus and Center of Hope International, to name a few.

For more information about Boedai Entertainment, you can visit their website at www.boedai.com, or call them at (212) 502-0710.


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