Wyclef Jean makes the most of whatever environment he finds himself in. It’s a skill the singer-producer acquired as a youngster, when he and his family left his native Haiti for Brooklyn and eventually settled in New Jersey. “I was born in a hut. I ate dirt from the floor. I didn’t know what electricity was,” Jean says. “So by the time I got to America, I was like, ‘We made it.’ I just became a sponge wanting to escape, and my escape became culture.”.