DJ Clark Kent Digs Through XXL’s Music Mail Bag [Ready or Not]
Published in the Ready or Not column in the July/Aug issue, on stands July 6th!!!
With 20-plus years in hip-hop, DJ Clark Kent has been there and done that. The Brooklyn-bred DJ/producer got his start DJing for ’80s rapper Dana Dane, before banging out hit records for rap icons Jay-Z (“Brooklyn’s Finest”) and Notorious B.I.G. (“Sky’s the Limit”). Not resting on his laurels, Kent and his new production team, The Remedy, produced Rick Ross’s latest single, “Super High.” Before his next DJing gig somewhere around the world, Kent checked in with XXL to give his brutally honest opinions on tracks submitted by hungry rappers on the come-up. Hit XXL up with your music at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vince Loyal, “I Like Dat”
Clark Kent: See, I’m not mad at this, until he starts rapping. It’s not anything wrong with it; it’s just not special. When the beat comes on, the hook comes on, like, all of that’s right. He’s not as big as the hook and the beat… He doesn’t sound as good as the hook and the beat.
Charlie Check’m, “Bus Stop”
Clark Kent: Just no. No… Well, I’m just, I’m just not loving it. I don’t like it at all.
Hi Stakez, “I’m Here Now”
Clark Kent: Where were you? Most beats sound like this now… So you’re already, like, halfway there, with the beat that sounds like something else. It sounds like an intro for his album. Like, you want the world to actually know, “Okay, I made a record. Here’s the beginning of my album.”
Teflon Dram, “Hustle Hard”
Clark Kent: Hustle Hard is Maino’s crew. You got to think about those things when you use those words. It’s just okay… When you hear music as much as I do, you’re looking for something to jump out of the computer, to jump off of the CD, that says, “This shit is crackin’.”
Nephew feat. Fly Boi, “Nasty Girl”
Clark Kent: See, now this record right here, this “Nasty Girl” record…this “Nasty Girl” record can work, especially if it’s in a region where it calls for that stuff. You put that somewhere in Mississippi, at a strip club—it’s not confusing, and he ain’t trying to be the best rapper. He’s just saying some stuff. And it’s the “Nasty Girl” hook. It can work. —Rondell Conway