DJ Clark Kent has been in this game for years. He started off in the '80s as the DJ for legendary Brooklyn rapper Dana Dane, while also rocking sets on NYC radio and in the most popular nightclubs around the five boroughs. He continued to build a name for himself in the music industry by remixing hit R&B and rap records (in addition to working as an A&R for Atlantic Records), becoming one of hip hop’s early taste-makers and most trusted ears.
After befriending both Jay-Z and The Notorious B.I.G. (yes, he’s the guy who introduced them to each other), he went on to produce some of their biggest records, including three tracks on Jay-Z’s magnum opus Reasonable Doubt, Junior M.A.F.I.A.’s break-out smash “Players Anthem”—featuring a never-before-heard Lil’ Kim—and The Notorious B.I.G.’s acclaimed Life After Death single “Sky’s The Limit.”
Many readers may have heard of DJ Clark Kent through his various sneaker features with Complex (he’s a renowned sneaker-head), but with so many classic records in his production discography, he was long overdue for a visit to our office to break down the stories behind them.
DJ Clark Kent (don’t forget the DJ in his credits or he gets pissed) came through the ‘Plex pad, and over lunch he brought us back to the first time he heard a teenage Jay-Z spit, the night “Players Anthem” was recorded and then spun hours later, and how Jay-Z forced rappers from Biggie to Big Daddy Kane to step up their style.
And that ain’t the half of it. In fact, this is only part one of a two part series. DJ Clark Kent is still busy making hit records for megastars like Rick Ross (he produced ‘Super High’ but thinks it’s too new to talk about), and has more heat on the way in 2012, but we had to talk about the classics first. So grab ya dicks, and rub ya titties, because if you love hip-hop, this one's a must-read.
As told to Daniel Isenberg (@stanipcus)