Reggae Icon Jimmy Cliff Returns With New Single, ‘Refugees’ Ft. Wyclef Jean
One of the most important reggae artists of all time, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee and Grammy Award-winning icon jim cliff makes their long-awaited comeback with a new single titled “Refugees” [feat. Wyclef Jean] which is out now. This international anthem paves the way for his first album in over a decade, also called Refugees, August 12, 2022 via UMe. You can listen to the version ‘dance’ of “Refugees” below.
Featuring a Dance version now and a Rap version (coming later), “Refugees” captures the spirit of Cliff’s most classic production with a neo-soul hip-hop twist courtesy of legendary Fugees co-founder Wyclef Jeans. It also continues the creative and spiritual connection between these two mavericks as Wyclef inducted Cliff into the Roll Hall of Fame in 2010.
Regarding this generational collaboration, Wyclef commented, “For me, coming to America was not easy when I got here. Having family members who suffered political torment, it was not easy for us. When I say ‘Fugees’, ‘Fugees’ is short for ‘Refugees’. I was always like, ‘If I could fathom one message, this would be it.’ And who inspires that? Jimmy Cliff is one of my biggest inspirations, and he has always stayed true to the message of peace, love, and unity. The collaboration with this record is exactly what we are, speaking for the forgotten. In a time when love is needed, I don’t think anyone can convey that better than the King.
That’s what the “King” does best on “Refugees.”
Jimmy said: “I’m very proud of this because it sees Jimmy Cliff in a new musical direction. I will always go into something new. Even though Refugees is a heavy title, you will move your feet, because it’s on the dance floor. Here we are. I love it.”
Regarding his collaboration with Jimmy on ‘We Want Justice’, Jamaican singer and multi-instrumentalist Dwight Richards said, “I have worked with Jimmy Cliff for 20 years and was honored when he asked me to appear on ‘ We Want Justice”. Growing up in Jamaica, this song really touched me. Being able to sing it with Jimmy gives it more meaning. As we all know, Jimmy is a humanitarian, and that speaks for himself and this album. We the people want justice and we deserve justice.
Among the thirteen titles, he notably collaborates with his daughter Lilty Cliff on the emotional “Racism”.
Lilty summed it up: “The way the song came about is just a story of musicians having fun together. I was just messing around. The band leader ended up recording some stuff. Next thing I know I hear I’m actually gonna be on a song. Jimmy is a man who has always remained true to his convictions. I think ‘Racism’ is a song that really shows what the whole Refugees album is about, which is unity and tolerance. The fact that I can be part of it is really amazing. I can’t wait for everyone to hear it. I see you.”
As lively as ever, Cliff turns 78 on July 30. This year also marked the 50th anniversary of the timeless The more they come—the classic movie starring Jimmy originally released in 1972. His creation of The more they come Soundtrack effectively launched and popularized reggae. Given its seriousness, the Library of Congress deemed it “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and selected it for preservation in the National Recording Registry. The release of the album also fittingly follows the 60th anniversary of Jamaica’s independence from the UK on August 6, 2022.
In 2012, Cliff gave the world his newest LP Renaissance. It won a Grammy Award for “Best Reggae Album” and closed the year on Rolling Stone’s “50 Best Albums of 2012”. He distinguishes himself as “the only living reggae musician to hold the Order of Merit, the highest honor that can be bestowed by the Jamaican government for achievement in the arts and sciences”. Of course, his catalog includes hit songs “Many Rivers To Cross”, “You Can Get It If You Really Want”, “The Harder They Come” and “Hakuna Matata”. He contributed covers of Cat Stevens’ “Wild World” and Johnny Nash’s “I Can See Clearly Now” to classic comedy. Cool races.
However, it incites another era of revolution on Refugees This year.
Refugees includes the following tracks:
“Love of Money”
“I am here”
“Refugees (Rap Version) (feat. Wyclef Jean)
“My Love Song”
“We Want Justice” (with Dwight Richards)
“Racism” (feat. Lilty Cliff)
“Have a good day”
“Refugees (Dance Version)” (feat. Wyclef Jean)
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uDiscover Music is operated by Universal Music Group (UMG). Some recording artists included in uDiscover Music articles are affiliated with UMG.
For the latest music news and exclusive features, check out uDiscover music. uDiscover Music is operated by Universal Music Group (UMG). Some recording artists included in uDiscover Music articles are affiliated with UMG.