Wyclef Jean is trying to persuade rich friends like Tommy Hilfiger, 50 CENT and boxing promoter Don King to invest in Haiti - to help his homeland recover from recent storms.

The FUGEES star is forging ahead with plans to stage a huge December (04) Peace Concert in devastated Gonaives after returning from the Haitian town, where people are living on their roofs - because everything is underwater.

And he's inviting his multi-millionaire pals to visit the Caribbean for the benefit show, in the hope they'll buy up land and businesses in Haiti.

He says, "I'm working on Sean Paul, I'm trying to get G-Unit down to Haiti. I'm working on Method Man and Redman, I'm seeing if Russell Simmons will come out to Haiti, Tommy Hilfiger, Don King, Lennox Lewis. It'll be a real fun time in Haiti.

"The idea is to bring friends with money, so that they might fall in love with Haiti and want to invest in something."

Wyclef is returning to his homeland later this month (OCT04) with a plane full of supplies, to urge Haitians to be on their best behaviour for the weekend of his Peace Concert.

The R+B star will address the nation in a bid to persuade the volatile locals to "help themselves" by showing the world there's more to Haiti than violence.

He adds, "If I bring five people to Haiti and they don't get shot they're like, 'Where's the killing?'

"I'm going to make a speech because the city of Port-au-Prince is real hot right now. In my speech I'm going to say, 'I wanna help you, but you have to help yourselves and I can't convince any of my friends and people that I know to come down here if the violence don't calm itself down.'"

08/10/2004 09:11