Bursting onto the scene as one-third of the enormously popular 1990’s act The Fugees, Wyclef Jean has since crossed over and been a part of so many hit songs via collaborations with artists from many different corners of the music business. One of his highest-profile team-ups in his career has to be rock legend Carlos Santana, for their massive hit song “Maria Maria.” The instrumental is back in the public zeitgeist because of how DJ Khaled used it as the backbone to his recent track “Wild Thoughts,” so Wyclef decided to reveal a previously unnoticed hip-hop connection between “Maria Maria” and Wu-Tang Clan.
During his appearance on an episode of the Drink Champs podcast, Wyclef tells N.O.R.E. that part of his inspiration behind the guitar riff you hear Santana play is a re-tooled version of an instrumental from Wu-Tang Clan’s debut album Enter The Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers. When the show’s host balks at the suggestion, the former Fugee grabs his guitar and demonstrates the re-working live. N.O.R.E., stunned, admits that he has to “give his hip-hop card back” for a day. To be honest, not too many people would’ve seen that one coming.
It’s a moment that solidifies Wyclef’s status as not only a student but also an educator when it comes to hip-hop culture. You can view the episode, via Revolt TV, in full below.