In the wonderful world of sneakerheads, DJ Clark Kent is a household name. The Brooklyn native has carved out a new niche for himself as one of the industry's leading experts, which is why we asked him to break down his Top 50 Air Force 1's Of All Time in our recent feature (click here if you missed it). But while we were putting the feature together, one thing occurred to us: do you guys actually know who Clark Kent is?
See, before he was known to Nike fiends across the globe, the DJ produced some seriously classic hip-hop records from artists like Jay-Z, Rakim, CNN, and Biggie. To help bring you up to speed, we put together a compilation of our 10 favorite records produced by DJ Clark Kent...
Chubb Rock "The Chubbster" (1991)
As a prominent NYC DJ and A&R for Atlantic Records, Chubb got his feet wet by producing a gang of remixes in the early '90s. One of his first hits was the radio mix of the third single from Chubb Rock's album The One, which shot to #1 on Billboard's Hot Rap Singles chart.
Little Vicious "Nika" (1994)
Doug E. Fresh's kiddie reggae artist broke through with the beat-box anthem "Freaks," but it was his second single that smoothed things out. Using the ever-popular "Between The Sheets" sample from the Isley Brothers, Clark made a reggae/hip-hop fusion that stands the test of time.
Junior Mafia "Player's Anthem" (1995)
Clark first got a chance to work with Biggie on his crew's debut album, most memorably on this party-starting second single that samples a groove from Detroit funk band New Birth.
Jay-Z f/ The Notorious B.I.G. "Brooklyn's Finest" (1996)
It was only right that Clark, a Brooklyn native himself, produced the quintessential BK anthem. Clark's first connection to Jay-Z came in 1993, when he did A&R and production for Original Flavor, a Roc-A-Fella-affiliated group that was executive produced by Dame Dash.
Rakim "Guess Who's Back" (1997)
After staying out of the spotlight for a few years, the original God MC needed to come back with a bang. He enlisted Clark to produce the first single from his solo debut The 18th Letter.
Capone-N-Noreaga "Closer" (1997)
CNN's The War Report is one of the grimiest, darkest albums in '90s rap, but Clark came through with this smoothed-out, jiggy R&B cut that ended up being the LP's final single.
The Notorious B.I.G. f/ 112 "Sky's The Limit" (1997)
One of the few non-Hitman producers to contribute to Biggie's epic Life After Death, Clark stood out with this nostalgic cut that came to life thanks to Spike Jonze's kiddie-rap video concept.
Canibus "How We Roll" (1998)
Before linking up with Wyclef, before battling Uncle L, Canibus recorded his debut single with Clark, the song that truly blew him up before his career came crashing down a year later.
Mariah Carey "Loverboy" (2001)
Clark has branched out into the R&B world several times, most successfully on the lead single from Mariah's ill-fated Glitter soundtrack which features Larry Blackmon from the sample's original group Cameo.
50 Cent "Fuck You" (2002)
While Boo Boo was plotting his 2003 takeover, he released his now-classic street album Guess Who's Back. Clark laced him with this Primo-esque joint that still bangs to this day. I don't give a fuck who you are!