“No Matter What You’re Going Through… Even When the Earth Quakes”

Like the song says, be strong. Simple as that. But the simplest songs are the ones we need the most. Sometimes an indispensible tune arrives before its purpose can be fully understood, and only in retrospect does the grand scheme reveal itself. Such is the case with “Hold On.” When Wyclef and Mavado shot this video last fall, the devastation following the earthquake of January 12th 2010 was as yet unimaginable. The song was already the two friends’ best collabo ever, and one of Wyclef’s best songs since he did that Shakira joint a few years ago. A few deft ProTools revisons later (“Rest in Peace Jimmy O!”) and the song speaks directly to all those sprawling tent cities just outside the necropolis. Clef even works a “Text Yele to 501501” PSA into the video, which debuted on 106 & Park (smokinggun and gawker be damned). As with every other aspect of his existence, Wyclef’s words in this song are now invested with unforseeable gravitas. But Mavado still steals the whole tune at 1:35 when the Gangsta shows up to sing “To all my thugs that’s gone, memories live on I guess. See you at the crossroads…” Word to Papa Legba. Let it go…