DJ Clark Kent recalls telling Jay-Z to turn away from hustling in the streets to taking rap seriously.
A good story in hip-hop history is how DJ Clark Kent convinced Jay-Z to stop hustling and focus on rap music. Who is DJ Clark Kent? He produced 3 tracks on Jay-Z’s album “Reasonable Doubt”. Clark was featured in People’s Party podcast where he discussed working with Jay-Z, Biggs, and Dame Dash.
When asked about convincing Jay-Z to stop hustling and take rap seriously, Clark Kent laughed and said, “Everybody who was a part of Roc-a-Fella in the very-very-very beginning overlapped,”. He continues to discuss how rap culture often involves drug dealing and hustling. It was clear that he was not encouraging this behavior as he states, “Biggs overlapped, Dame overlapped. Jay overlapped. It’s just I’m out there going No. Make this rap shit. You have to understand, I had a job at a rap company very young. I was like no. We gotta do this instead.”
Clark Kent Says “They had actual true talent”
Clark continues, “I been around some people who rap, and I’m like yeah, I’m cool. I been around some people who sing, I’m like yeah, I’m cool. When I heard Jay and Jaz the first time, when we was all teenagers, I was like — that’s some other shit.” When Jasmin Leigh inquires about when the decision was made to stop hustling, Kent draws up a frame of reference. “I think right about the time Reasonable Doubt dropped. It was like oh shit, it’s working. The thing was, [Jay] was going to retire. I was the only one who knew he wasn’t retiring. He’s way too talented and it’s not going to be enough.”
You can see the full interview below and more from Talib Kweli’s People’s Party Podcast.