With more than 20 years in the rap game, multiple Grammys and a healthy collection of platinum plaques to his name, former Fugee Pras Michel is now looking to bring a different kind of energy, the renewable kind.
The Brooklyn-born MC along with businessman Frank White Jr. and venture capitalist Shomik Dutta, recently launched DuSable Capital Management, and they are working with one of President Obama's biggest fundraisers to start a private equity fund that will invest in renewable energy. Their goal: to raise "$500 million to $1 billion," a source told Bloomberg.com.
Pras has gotten behind a number of causes from piracy to the election in Haiti, but as he explains, renewable energy is an idea that has always been near and dear to him.
"My whole life's been about causes, and renewable energy is right up my alley," Pras told BET.com. Obviously there are changes happening [with the climate], so renewable energy felt like a perfect fit," he added.
Pras credits his father with instilling an eco-friendly mindset into him as a child.
"My dad used to hate when we would leave the lights on. His whole thing was, 'do not waste energy,'" noted Pras. He added, "There are a lot of artists out there who are conscious about preserving energy and being eco-friendly, but what we're trying to do is on a whole different level."
In addition to this latest endeavor, Pras has also been working behind the camera.
"I'm actually working on this documentary about the election that took place after the earthquake in Haiti," proclaimed Pras. "Michel Martelly ran for president. He was the unlikely candidate to win because of who he was and what he represented, but against all odds he won and we captured it all the behind-the-scenes. Then we got Wyclef involved, and even Sean Penn," he added with excitement.
Despite Clef's involvement in that project, fans longing for a Fugees reunion shouldn't get their hopes up. Pras said he's been in touch with Lauryn Hill since her recent release from prison, but he has not spoken to his cousin in a long time. "To be honest I haven't seen Wyclef in a little while," he said. "I know he's off doing his thing and I'm doing my thing so we haven't really connected."
Still, while it's been eight years since his last album, Pras made it clear that music will always be his first love. "Music is always gonna be in my blood no matter what," Pras said, adding that he plans on re-dedicating himself to making hit records in the new year.
As for what new artists he's checking out these days, "I listen to everything from 2 Chainz to Adele," he said. "If you put my iPod on 'shuffle' it could go from Frank Sinatra to 'All I want for my birthday.'"
(Photo: John Ricard/BET)