Prakazrel Samuel Michel, better known as Pras Michél, is a well-known American rapper, songwriter, producer, and actor.
He gained prominence as a member of the legendary hip hop group Fugees alongside Wyclef Jean and Lauryn Hill.
Born on October 19, 1972, Pras was raised in Irvington, New Jersey, but was born in Brooklyn, New York.
He is of Haitian-American descent and was exposed to music at a young age.
At the age of 15, Pras met Lauryn Hill while attending Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey.
Hill, who was also interested in music, was introduced to Wyclef Jean by Pras in 1988.
Under the guidance of Ronald Khalis Bell, a producer for Kool and the Gang, the trio began rehearsing and formed a musical group known as The Rap Translators in 1989, also called Tranzlator Crew.
However, it was their later formation of the Fugees that brought them worldwide fame.
The group’s second album, The Score, was a commercial success and sold over 22 million copies worldwide.
Pras contributed to the group’s success as a rapper and a producer, and he co-wrote many of their songs.
After the Fugees disbanded, Pras continued his music career as a solo artist.
He scored two Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, including “Ghetto Supastar (That Is What You Are)” featuring Ol’ Dirty Bastard and Mýa, which earned him a Grammy nomination.
He also collaborated with Wyclef Jean and the rock band Queen on the 1998 remix of “Another One Bites the Dust”, which reached the top five on the UK Singles Chart.
Pras’ collaborations didn’t stop there; he also worked with Refugee Camp All-Stars and Ky-Mani Marley on the hit song “Avenues”.
Additionally, he expanded his creative talents into acting and produced a web series that won him a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Digital Daytime Drama Series in 2017.
Who is Pras Michel? American Rapper, Pras Michel Arrested and Charged for Conspiracy
Grammy-winning rapper, Pras Michel, has been found guilty on Wednesday of 10 criminal counts related to an international conspiracy that reportedly involved high-ranking officials in the US government.
Michel, a former member of the Fugees, faced multiple charges over a failed attempt to assist Malaysian businessman Jho Low and the Chinese government in gaining access to former US presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump, among other officials.
Michel testified last week that Low had paid him $20 million in 2012 to take a picture with Obama.
However, prosecutors alleged that Michel funneled over $800,000 of that money to Obama’s campaign using straw donors.
Michel denied using the money at Low’s direction but instead claimed it was his to spend as he pleased, saying, “I could have bought 12 elephants with it.”
The investigations into Low and his alleged role in embezzling billions of dollars from 1MBD, the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund, ramped up after Trump came to power in 2017.
Prosecutors have claimed that Low directed over $100 million to Michel to help push the government to drop its investigation into him, including Trump.
Additionally, prosecutors have accused Michel of advocating for the extradition of a Chinese dissident, Guo Wengui, on behalf of the Chinese government.
Michel, however, testified that he only tried to help Low find an attorney in the US and informed authorities about Guo because he believed Guo was a criminal.
The former Fugees member also claimed that the $100 million was for a media business he was starting and was not from Low.
Low, who was charged along with Michel, is believed to be in China. Guo has since been arrested and charged by the Justice Department with defrauding investors in an unrelated case.