Exclusive: Wyclef Jean Samples Planet Jupiter In Uplifting New Song ‘Borrowed Time’

For his latest single, Wyclef Jean looked into the stars.  

“I had been interested to hear what was coming out of Jupiter,” says Jean, 47. “What I discovered was a collage of vibrations that seemed to me just like a piano. I heard low tones, mid-range, high tones — it almost sounded like a brand new patch of sonics which have never been shown yet to the general public.”

The whirring sounds of this giant world can be observed throughout the track, which is taken from Jean’s first studio album in eight decades, Carnival III: The Fall and Rise of a Refugee (out Sept. 15). Composing the uplifting anthem, songs like John Lennon’s Picture and Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On motivated the superstar, as he sings about cherishing life and overcoming challenges.    

“The whole idea of this document is, between Earth and space, we’re actually on borrowed time,” Jean says. “So we have to appreciate each other,  maybe not hate each other. We must try and be progressive and move things forward, not backward.”  

With this song, “I have to send a message to the entire world to say, ‘It’s OK to fall and it’s OK to have beat up and thrown down,’ ” he continues. “But the idea would be to get up, dust yourself off and keep running.”

Like his past two Carnival records — his 1997 debut The Carnival and its 2007 followup. II: Memoirs of an Immigrant — Jean’s latest effort details victories and the stumbles of both immigrants. But the Haitian native doesn’t get explicitly political, choosing on Borrowed Time about his vision for a harmonious world to rap.  

“Borrowed Time is a song where I’m talking to the government, but (also) America as a whole,” Jean says.   “If I was to target Donald Trump, I’d essentially be committing  Donald Trump attention and I think he gets enough attention. He sucks the air from the entire room daily on the news”