DJ Clue
Burning Questions

clue1.jpgFor someone popularly known as “The Question Mark Man,” DJ Clue doesn’t seem to like answering questions very much. Still, after the Queens native announced recently that he was leaving his longtime home, Hot 97, for a primetime slot on rival New York station Power 105, we knew we had to track him down to find out why he made the switch. Having talked to Clue just days after Hot 97 experienced the third shooting outside its studios in five years, we can hardly blame the mild-mannered DJ for wanting to focus on the future. With a new Def Jam album, The Professional III, coming soon, along with Fabolous signing with Def Jam, 2006 may be the year of Desert Storm’s resurgence. Although the exact date of Desert Storm Radio’s arrival at Power is still up in the air, Clue’s show is slated for national syndication. Though tight-lipped about his dissatisfaction with Hot 97 and working with the newly minted President Carter, Clue was more than happy to clear up rumors about beef with Joe Budden and whether or not he uses ghost producers. Do remember!

Hot 97 has seen its fair share of controversy lately. Why did you decide to leave the station?
I feel like I’d been there long enough. I left because I wanted to further my career, take a bigger step in the radio game.

You don’t think Hot 97 would have helped you further your career?
I don’t think there was room over there for me to do that at this point. They got Flex, they got Angie, their roster’s pretty much set. And plus, I wouldn’t feel right taking a spot from Hot 97. I’d rather start somewhere fresh, do my own shit.

What was it about Power 105 specifically that you thought would make it a better fit?
It was some place where I could get a whole new look. There’s certain people over at Hot 97, they wasn’t playing the same kind of stuff. Power 105 is a little bit different. It’s all about change and doing something different.

In your new time slot, you’ll be in direct competition with Funkmaster Flex’s show on Hot 97. Have you had a chance to speak to Flex about the potential rivalry?
Me and Flex talked about the whole thing the day I put in the resignation. It’s not a rivalry, me and Flex are cool. Of course people are going to make it out to be a competition. I just do me and if people like it, there’s nothing I can do about that. I let people make the judgment on their own.

You were there for New York hip-hop’s heyday in the ’90s. Why do you think no one cares about New York rap anymore?
I think a lot of music is all over the place now. People are just making music and not adjusting to what you need to get played in New York. People are trying to do what other people do rather than doing themselves. Before, New York people set the bar and now other people set the bar. You follow [and] it’s not going to work.

How has Jay-Z being the head of Def Jam affected things for you at the label?
Even back when I was doing my projects, Jay didn’t really have anything to do with my project. I would do my project and hand it in. I would make my own decisions.

But at the same time, whoever’s running your label can affect a lot of things: when your album comes out, what singles get released, etc. Have you found the business situation to be different with Jay in charge?
In some ways, yeah.

How so?
I mean, nothing I really want to comment on. It’s a little bit different. He definitely expects certain things.

I see. So how much did you have to do with bringing Fab over to Def Jam?
It’s something that me and Jay had spoken about before. It was something that was in the air for a while, and when it did come up, we made it happen. It’s definitely a whole different look for Fab, and we felt he kind of needed that. But no matter what label he’s on, I have a say on everything.

clue2.jpgAre you at all worried about how his project will be handled? Lately, it seems that Def Jam has been kind of hit or miss with rap.
[Laughs] Wow, Def Jam is hit or miss [laughs]. Um, I mean, it’s all about, coming to the project with the right records from the jump. I don’t like to put my faith in anyone else’s hands. Whether it be Def Jam, Atlantic or whoever it is. I like doing that ’cause I learned from past experiences.

When you hear Fab shouting “Street Fam” all the time, do you ever worry that he might not be repping Desert Storm correctly?
Nah, it’s all love. Of course he’s going to try to bring up his own, but we still got the foundation there. As long as you know what the foundation is, it’s all good.

Interesting you say that, because on Mood Muzik 2, Joe Budden had a line where he said “I came out screaming Desert Storm every day/And as soon as I stopped, he don’t want to play.” Some people assumed he was talking to you.
I don’t know what the hell that was a reference to. I have no idea what that kid talking about sometimes. He say shit sometimes and then someone asks him about it and he’s like, Nah, I wasn’t referring to that. But it is what it is, man. Everyone has their own opinion. Everyone has those kind of days. But there’s no bad blood between us or anything. It’s not like that at all. Not with me, anyway. I don’t have beef with nobody.

Desert Storm recently signed Magnificent, from Houston. How did you hook up with him?
My cousin, DJ Storm, is from Houston, so he told me about him. I’ve been knew all these dudes, but this is when we had the Sony situation and Tommy Mottola left. Back then I could’ve signed Mike Jones. I was messing with Mike Jones for a year and a half before he got signed to Swisha. I could have signed Mike Jones, Paul Wall, all of them, but I didn’t have an outlet like that.

Your commercial albums have been pretty successful when compared to other DJs. Why do you think other DJs don’t do quite as well when it comes time to sell albums?
It all starts in the street. I think I have a big street following. Most of the artists that have came up, you heard them first through Clue. You can associate yourself with it, so people are like, When I first started feeling Jay-Z and I heard “Aint No Nigga,” I heard it on Clue first. Or, When I first heard that crazy Nas freestyle way back when, I heard it on Clue. When I first heard Junior M.A.F.I.A.’s “Players Anthem,” I heard it on Clue. When I first heard DMX, I heard it on Clue. That means something. When you think about what kind of Cola you want, you get Coca-Cola. Pepsi is big, but you think Coca-Cola. I feel like it’s the same type of thing. A lot of the artists who are considered the greatest of all time, you heard on Clue first. It sets a certain level of expectation and hype.

Most producers have a specific sound they’re known for. Do you think your beats have a “sound”?
I’ve heard that before, but I don’t really see that. I can tell if it’s a Timbaland beat or if it’s Preemo, but if they asked how can you tell, I couldn’t tell them. I think a lot of my joints are different. A lot of people think I have a ghost producer for some reason. A lot of people think I just put my name on shit.

Okay, so for the record: Clue makes all his own beats. Right?

In all honesty, have you heard that rumor before?

I’ve heard rumors here and there, sure.
Yeah, it’s definitely people talking. Next time you speak to Mariah, ask her that. She’ll tell you.

  • http://www.myspace.com/therapistmusic Therapist

    For someone popularly known as “The Question Mark Man,” DJ Clue doesn’t seem to like answering questions very much.

    hahahahah

    for the record, DJ Clue gives the worst interviews ever, possibly based on the fact that he can’t properly speak…

    secondly, d. scott whatttuuuup…

  • Dj Husha

    Dj Clue is a shy man.. i gotta admit he was lazy back in da day as damon dash says, hope he ain’t lazy now. If it wasn’t for damon dash, clue wouldn’t have desert storm.
    but all in all he is a good dj.

  • BIG D from harlem

    man clue is a sick dj i got all his shit man

  • T-Boye Doe

    Hey, I tryna follow Clue’s blueprint,we’re both Capricorns, so we have that shyness & lazyness about us, but we are still hard-workers at the end of the day, now who can I holla at to get a position over at Desert Storm ?

  • http://www.myspace.com/geoffdilkes G Off

    T-Boye Doe, wtf kind of comment was that? You are the same sign as the cat, and you are lazy like him, so you should get a deal??? Work on your PR first, homey.

  • KlientL

    T-Boye Doe Says:

    May 2nd, 2006 at 5:04 pm
    Hey, I tryna follow Clue’s blueprint,we’re both Capricorns, so we have that shyness & lazyness about us, but we are still hard-workers at the end of the day, now who can I holla at to get a position over at Desert Storm ?
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    Corn!!

  • J SUN

    WHAT ARE YOU THE HOMO DJ?

  • J SUN

    HEY, WE’RE BOTH SHY CAPRICORS. WHAT THE FUCK!!! YOU SOUND LIKE YOU WANNA SPIN RECORDS IN THAT DUDES ASS HOMEY.

  • mathew

    this kid is tite man…up there with funk flex. professional I was the best though

  • http://www.soundclick.com/dacollective Vindi

    Clue is my fav DJ prefer 2 hear one of his mixtapes than a Kay Slay who’s voice is not tolerable all the time over a freestyle or track

  • http://rockthedub.blogspot.com khal

    I used to n ot like Clue. back when I was young, in NJ, all I heard bumping in the streets was “DJ CLUE! EXCLUSIVE!” I got tired of it… now its like the thing to do.

    I did like Clue when he was doing Direct Effect, even if he sounds like a mumble mouth when he gets excited.

    I still prefer Kay Slay to him though, I remember those audio clips of the 2 of them arguing on the radio. Classic.

    Good luck to Clue, though. And someone get Cipha Sounds off the air.

  • DC Kid

    Seriously man, how you gonna say some gay shit like that man !

  • sam1

    mann that boy magno is the hardest next to cham clue needs to put him out soon

  • Capone

    I like clue he always was the tape to buy when it was a bunch of trash at the tape spot but when is he gonna put Biship Boss on one of his tapes nigga is nice.

  • T-Boye Doe

    Hold on, now y’all niggas ain’t gonna disrespect the kid like that, I was only giving the nigga props, I don’t kiss nobody ass to get 2 the top, bitch azz niggas,get it right

  • Ian

    Clue a vet he deserve what he gets now. Bringing Fab to def jam was good, because a fab and Jay song would be hot.

  • http://www.stonedihotmail.com stonediggy

    clue is good business minded dude and good dj but he is very corny character wise you see how he just dis buddens on the low stop being fake

  • Tyson

    Stop Snitchin, Stop Lyin’-top 10 mixtape of 2006

  • http://www.ananzi.co.za PHONY YAYO

    CLUE IS DA SHIT BITCH!!!!1
    GGGGGGGGGG-UNOT

  • zo 4 Show

    FUck phony yayo, ggggg u not is right though, Dj clue sucks a fat dick!

  • silva

    YEAHyeah
    Do Remember
    After party @ Club Cheetah
    Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat
    Everytrip

  • http://CLUE DAT DUDE

    YO EVERYTHING REAL I WAS FEELING CLUE AND JOE BUDDEN WAS SPEAKING THE TRUTH AS SOON AS HE STOPP SCREAMING DESERT STORM HE DID STOP PLAYIN HIS SHIT AND IM A BIG CLUE FAN I THINK HE IS THE BEST DJ PERIOD ON RADIO ON MIXTAPES YOU NAME IT BUT EVERYTHING REAL BUDDEN IS THE NICEST NIGGA ON DEF JAM AND DEF JAM HAS BEEN PUTTIN ALOT OF WEAK SHIT OUT AND GOT THE GROWTH ON THE BENCH. MAN CLUE IM STILL WAITING ON THE TRIANGLE OFFENSE SHIT TO DROP EVERYBODY UNDER DEF JAM SO WADDUP

  • ShogunOne87

    I’m gonna give Clue his props, cause he’s been around for over a decade and I can remember listening to tons of his mixtapes as a youngster, he’s definitely a household name that almost anyone afiliated with Hip Hop recognizes but the truth is that he is a goofy character that makes a shitty interview (I know many people watched him as he consistently mumbled and fucked shit up when he was on MTV) and it was kinda funny how he dissed Joe Budden on the low with his answer to that question; that alone lets you know Joe Bud. is speaking or rapping the truth. On the other hand Clue got the right not to play his shit after that verse and its not gonna take away from the fact that Buddens is sick with the rhyme and already known. I myself prefer to listen to and buy other DJ’s albums before Clues like DJ Lennox,Elev-8,Vlad,Tony Touch and Green Lantern.

  • ReDiCuLouS

    Word up…Tony Touch & Green Lantern have been better than Clue lately…But Funk Flex is tha cat to beat…until I hit major labels!! Check yo 6 niggas!!! I’m comin’!!!!!

  • john cochran

    CLUE set the bar for how mixtapes should be done. But, the last few been weak so he need to focus on puttin out fab, bundles, and magno cause they all hot.

  • A

    Just to point out something: it’s not logical to say that because he’s the ‘Question Mark Man’ he should answer questions.

    If anything, that means that he _leaves_ question marks or asks questions himself, right?

  • Big Zoe

    How the F*** can you call yourself a d.j. when all you do is dick ride and try to get major N**** like Jigga to co-sign. If it wasnt for people like Jigga and X, this MF would be a no name. Dame put him on, Jay set him up, He’s raping Fab for his cake….
    Seriously, Dunny all this MF do is yell and scream into the mic and put an echo effect on his sht. No skills, No street credibility. Its real easy to be a notariety when you backed by major funds. It is what it is, stop being a d*** rider and give real d.js credit who actually have skills blend, cut, cross-fade, sht like that makes you a d.j. Not fK screaming and thinking you the sht.

  • Big Zoe

    Oh yeah i.e examples of real fking d.j.s homie…Jazzy Jeff, Grandmaster Flash, Premo, Capri. and who could forget about the Diabolical Biz Markie….If you ever get a chance to see Biz rip sht…He’s bananas….
    BigZoe, reppin BK all day every day.

  • bluerid

    peace where is camron?

  • Poison

    Clue is da best dat ever did it.

  • jay rid

    my man u a bum u get no a$$ u gets no burn dj whooo kidd is better den you my dude

  • http://WTF Jewel

    Mann ficket eu de Clue isch eine vode beste DJ’s mit sehr vil Exklusiv Material!

  • Tyler Durden

    Clue has the record for having The World’s Longest Nose on a DJ…He’s been defending that title since 1996

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  • http://www.geocities.yahoo.com/keoooba quincy

    clue is the man.a talented n****,neva mind his gramma we talkin the dj skills here.

  • BR TALENT

    WHAT TALENT??? YELLING on the MIC is considered a talent?? shut the hell up. that goes to all you idiots who support this no talent MF and to CLUE. DJ CLUE CLUE clue . . . BRAND NEW SHIT shit shit . . . NEW JAY Z jay z jay z . . . AH HA ah ha . . . ANNOYIN MAW FAWKA

  • BR TALENT

    im sorry, but it gets me so mad sometimes, when im jammin to some of the songs and then this nigga YELLS HIS NAME outta no where. and even at the end of the songs, you would think he would just say his name and shut the f up, but no. he has to say some stupid shit like “NEW SHIT shit shit” and “AH HA ah ha ah ha” seriously, come on. they all laughin at you dawg, no one wants to hear you. let the music speak for itself. we dont need yo ass to tell us its new.

  • Knowledge Speaks

    I ain’t copin’ the Professional 3 if that niggaz talkin’ through out every damn track.

  • RICE

    CLUE! CLUE!

  • K-PISCH

    F.U.C.K

  • http://www.hi-flitones.com D Boy

    clue is a legend as far mixtapes are concerned.

    http://www.hi-flitones.com
    http://www.hi-flitones.com

  • Jersey Boy

    Down in the south we love Magno he sick with it foreal god job Clue

  • http://K_SLAY4LIFE geewizzz

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  • trae bizzo

    Swizz beats is nice. I mean dj Clue clue, clue. and why does his stuff all sound different besides the clue part.