His strict parents opened up a church and wanted nothing more than for young Jean to make the most of a free education he never would have received had his family not moved from Haiti. But Jean only wanted to make it in music.
"If it didn’t have an educational component, our parents weren’t interested," said Jean’s brother, Samuel. "But Clef would sneak out of the house to go to dance clubs and perform or go to open mic events to sing or to rap. You couldn’t stop him."
Armed with his aspirations, Jean would go on to become the Grammy-winning leader of the hip-hop group The Fugees, an always-in-demand music producer and philanthropist.
Rumors have swirled for months that Jean would run for president. The singer has always been careful not to rule out a run for the office and recorded a song "If I was President."
The 37-year-old was born outside Port-au-Prince but left as a child and grew up in Brooklyn.