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Pras



PRAS}}Pras Michel (; born Prakazrel Samuel Michel; October 19, 1972) is a Haitian-American rapper, record producer, songwriter and actor. He is best known as one of the founding members of the influential hip hop group Fugees, which included Wyclef Jean and Lauryn Hill. Together the three were able to win awards for their grammy winning album, "The Score". He is being indicted by the United States Department of Justice, on May 10, 2019, for his part in a criminal conspiracy that alleges, between June 2012 and November 2012, he aided in the illegal transfer of approximately $865,000 from foreign entities into the Barack Obama 2012 presidential campaign as purportedly legitimate contributions, stolen from the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB.

Biography



Early life

Born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Irvington, New Jersey, Pras cultivated an early interest in music. When he was 15, Pras met Lauryn Hill, while both attended Columbia High School, Maplewood, New Jersey. In 1988, Pras introduced Lauryn to Wyclef Jean. Pras Michel, Wyclef Jean and Lauryn Hill began to rehearse under the guidance of Kool and the Gang's producer, Ronald Khalis Bell, and subsequently they formed a musical group called The Rap Translators in 1989 (also known as Tranzlator Crew.)

Music career

In 1994, before and during the time that The Fugees were recording their first album Blunted on Reality, under the supervision of Ronald Khalis Bell, Pras attended Rutgers University and Yale University, pursuing a double major in Philosophy and Psychology. In 1996, The Fugees achieved historic crossover success with The Score, which went multi-platinum. Pras has also forged a successful solo career, beginning with an international hit single from his first full-length solo LP, "Ghetto Supastar (That Is What You Are)", featuring Mýa and Ol' Dirty Bastard. "Ghetto Superstar" became a top ten single in 1999, and the eighth most played single; it was received with critical acclaim and earned Pras a performance at the World Music Awards. The hit single was included in the soundtrack for the film Bulworth. "Ghetto Supastar" spent eight weeks in the UK Top 5, peaking at No. 2 in July 1998, and reached US No. 15 a month later. "Blue Angels", from the same album, was a UK Top 10 hit, reaching No. 6 in November. Pras also featured on the track "Turn You On" by Swedish artist DeDe which was released in 2007. "Turn You On" was also written and produced by Pras Michél. After nine weeks on Sweden's single chart, it peaked at No. 2. He also featured "Pushin'" from the album Equalize by Swami, which was released in 2007.

Film career

After his cameo debut in the 1999 film, Mystery Men, Pras gained an interest in Hollywood. In 2000, Pras starred in the New Line film, Turn It Up. In early 2002, he appeared in the Sony and Urban World release Higher Ed, and Go for Broke in which he starred and produced. He also co-starred in three 20th Century Fox films in 2007. These included The Mutant Chronicles. In 2006, Pras created Skid Row, Los Angeles, a documentary account of his nine-day experience posing as a homeless person living in downtown Los Angeles. Using a hidden camera, Pras captured the reality of homelessness. The film was produced by Teryn Fogel. Skid Row was released on August 24, 2007 to widespread critical acclaim. In 2009, Pras travelled to Somalia to film a documentary entitled Paper Dreams to highlight piracy off the African coast. During filming pirates invaded the ship he was on, the MV Maersk Alabama, and took the captain of the ship hostage. Due to be released in 2014, the documentary remains unfinished due to a legal dispute. In 2015, Pras completed a documentary entitled Sweet Micky For President. The documentary chronicled the rise of Haitian musician Michel Martelly, through his election to fight corruption as President of Haiti, an election campaign that was strongly endorsed by Pras. The film had its World premiere at the 2015 Slamdance Film Festival.

Political activism

In 2013, Michel became a "top initial donor" to Organizing for Action, a political advocacy group formed by Obama associates in January 2013. In 2019, Michel was indicted for illegally helping to funnel $21 million in foreign campaign contributions into the 2012 U.S. presidential election to benefit political candidate "A". The Washington Post identified "Candidate A" as B. Obama.

Discography



Albums

EPs

Singles



As lead artist

As featured artist

Acting and producing career

  • Mystery Men (1999) – Tony C (credited as Prakazrel Michel)
  • Turn It Up (2000) – Denzel/Diamond (credited as Pras Michel) (co-producer)
  • Higher Ed (2001) – Ed Green (credited as Pras Michel) (executive producer)
  • Go For Broke (2002) – Jackson/Jackie (credited as Pras Michel) (producer)
  • Nora's Hair Salon (2004)
  • Careful What You Wish For (2004) – Zen Salesman (credited as Pras Michel)
  • Feel The Noise (2007) – Electric
  • First Night (2007) – himself (producer)
  • Skid Row (2007) – himself (producer)
  • The Mutant Chronicles (2007) – Captain Michaels (producer)
  • Paper Dreams (2010) – himself (producer)
  • Sweet Mickey For President (2015) – himself (producer)