Label: Undeas/Big Beat
DJ Clark Kent: “That was probably like the last record we did for the album. It was some fun shit. Biggie wanted to rhyme to an old school beat. So I sampled the ‘UFO’ record and put drums under it, and made it play out properly. And I did it, and we went in the studio, and it was done.
“B.I.G. liked Lil’ Jamal [which is why he was invited to rap on the song]. He was ‘Lil’’ too. We’re looking at him like, ‘You’re practically Junior M.A.F.I.A. to us.’ And that’s what happened. Lil’ Jamal with all the ‘Lil’s.
I was playing B.I.G. Jay-Z's music, and I’m telling him, ‘Dog, my man’s the best.’ He’s going, ‘Clark, you’re crazy.’ ‘Dead Presidents’ comes out. He’s like, ‘He’s saying it, but...’ Then ‘Dead Presidents II’ comes out, and he goes, ‘Alright Clark, you got it. Dude is crazy.’
“There’s another song on that album, ‘Oh My Lord’ with Kleptomaniac, that he went crazy on too! [People missed these songs] because they didn’t pay attention to the whole Junior M.A.F.I.A. project.
“I was in the lab for every record on that album, because I was A&R’ing that album. That verse on ‘Realms of Junior M.A.F.I.A.’ was the one that had me going, ‘Are you hearing this shit?’ We were on tour, and I was playing B.I.G. Jay-Z music, and I’m telling him, ‘Dog, my man’s the best.’ He’s going, ‘Clark, you’re crazy.’
"‘Dead Presidents’ comes out. He’s like, ‘He’s saying it, but...’ Then ‘Dead Presidents II’ comes out, and he goes, ‘Alright Clark, you got it. Dude is crazy.’ Then Un calls up, and he’s like [imitating his high-pitched voice], ‘Yo B.I.G. did you hear this [Jay-Z] shit? This shit is crazy!’
"So now B.I.G. is giving it up. Meanwhile, I’m on the bus with Junior M.A.F.I.A. and all his crimeys, and they’re like, ‘Yo, you better stop saying this motherfucker is better than B.I.G.’ But me and B.I.G. were tight. And I’m going, ‘He’s iller than you B.I.G.’ And B.I.G. is mad now.
So now Biggie's motivated, and then he came with [that verse on ‘Realms Of Junior M.A.F.I.A.’ And that was motivated by dudes saying Jay was nice. He was like, ‘Oh really, he’s nice? I’m coming for his ass.’
"So we go off tour, and he goes home, and he goes right to do ‘Who Shot Ya.’ ‘Who Shot Ya’ was done a long time ago, when [the beat] was on Mary J. Blige’s album, but there was only one verse on it. So he goes to the studio to do the whole version, and he adds that second verse.
“We go back to get on tour, and we’re at the airport, and they’ve got a big radio. Click, ‘Who Shot Ya’ comes on. I’m like, ‘I heard this already, nigga.’ He’s like, ‘No you didn’t.’ The second verse comes on and I’m like, ‘Wow.’
"He’s like, ‘You want to tell me I’m not the hardest nigga out Clark?’ And I’m like, ‘You’re definitely the hardest nigga out. But Jay’s nicer than you.' [Laughs.] That was the argument all the time with us.
“So now he’s motivated, because he’s hearing Jay-Z. And then he came with [that verse on ‘Realms Of Junior M.A.F.I.A.’ And that was motivated by dudes saying Jay was nice. He was like, ‘Oh really, he’s nice? I’m comin’ for his ass.’ But by that time, ‘Brooklyn’s Finest’ was recorded, and they were friends.”