Carnival Vol. II: Memoirs of an Immigrant

Music review by
Jessica Dawson, Common Sense Media
Carnival Vol. II: Memoirs of an Immigrant Music Poster Image
Smart lyrical mix of rock, rap, and soca soul.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

Touches on topics such as prostitution, immigration, family separation, urban violence, and war.


Some reference to urban violence, drive-by shootings, war, but nothing explicit.


Some sexual content: "sniffing a bone/for the right guy she'd go deeper than a baritone" and references to prostitution: "closed legs don't get fed/go out there and make my bread."


No explicit curse words or vulgar language; occasional reference to prostitution ("pimps," "turning tricks").

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Nothing explicit; one reference to "pass me a cold drink."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this album touches on several gown-up subjects such as immigration, urban violence, prostitution, and war, but does so with maturity and intelligence. The lyrics never tread into the obscene or vulgar realm.

User Reviews

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Teen, 17 years old Written bycamiluv17 April 9, 2008
Teen, 14 years old Written byindians0428 April 9, 2008

Amazing album

This is depressing to me that this site can put this album down at all. Wyclef is an amazing humanitarian and obvious christian who just tries to help people. a... Continue reading

What's the story?

CARNIVAL VOL. II: MEMOIRS OF AN IMMIGRANT is the long-awaited sequel to 1997's The Carnival. Although Wyclef Jean put out other albums in between, he has come full circle with this electrifying mix of eclectic world sounds (rock, reggae, hip-hop, and soca soul) to create a classic. There are some racy lyrics, but they're smart and don't overshadow the intoxicating blend of music and overall intent of the album. In \"Fast Car\" hip-hop and an acoustic guitar make for a haunting duet with legend Paul Simon (\"when that fast car picks you up/you will have no choice/you may hear the tires scream/but you will have no voice/when that fast car picks you up/you will meet that smile and see heaven in the headlights mile after mile\").

Is it any good?

With the help of other major artists (Mary J. Blige, Shakira, Norah Jones, and Paul Simon), this Haitian-born Grammy winner spins tales of otherwise dicey topics in a non-offensive, but honest way that can encourage a positive dialog between kids and parents.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about artists breaking out on their own and being successful. Is it better to keep your band's sound, create your own, or blend the two together? How do you market yourself differently? Families can also talk about some of the CD's themes. What could make someone resort to violence or prostitution? What could or should be done to change that?

Music details

  • Artist: Wyclef Jean
  • Release date: December 4, 2007
  • Label: Columbia
  • Genre: Hip-hop
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No
  • Last updated: July 15, 2015

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