Jay-Z’s “Reasonable Doubt” had hits! Hov’s first album, released on June 25, 1996 and had hits like “D’Evils,” “Can I Live,” “Can’t Knock the Hustle,” “Ain’t No N***a” and “Feelin’ It.”
While the album had appearances by Mary J. Blige, Foxy Brown and Memphis Bleek, it was also graced by the presence of one of the greatest of all time, the Notorious B.I.G., on the track, “Brooklyn’s Finest.”
Get this though: Biggie wasn’t supposed to be on the track at all.
While appearing on the Scoop B Radio Podcast, legendary dj, DJ Clark Kent said that the Brooklyn’s Finest track, which he produced was for Jay-Z. “I got to the studio to lay it for Jay, Big heard the track and he wanted it for himself,” DJ Clark Kent told me.
“But I couldn’t give it to him because it was already for Jay. But I said [to Biggie]: ‘If you come to the studio and wait downstairs, I’ll tell him that you should be on the record and we’ll see what happens.’”
Jay-Z agreed to it and so the track was created. “I brought Big upstairs and Jay thought I was a funny guy for not telling him that Big was downstairs,” DJ Clark Kent recalled.
According to DJ Clark Kent, Jay-Z re-did his verses on the track to accommodate Biggie. “Everything you hear from Jay on that record was changed 20 minutes after he laid what he laid,” he said.
“So he basically set up every one of Big’s verses with a rhyme and then asked Big was he ready. Big was so blown away by it. He was like: ‘he wasn’t ready’ and said he needed some time. So he took it home and two months later, we went back to the studio and Big laid his part.”
With all of the lyrical firepower on that track, guess what? Neither one of the rappers had a hook. “I had to figure out a hook because they left me in the studio with no hook,” recalled DJ Clark Kent.
“So I was there trying to become a hook guy!” So I went in the booth and did the hook and luckily everybody was happy because otherwise the record would have never happened.”
The story is legendary.
But, DJ Clark Kent is quite the legend in his own right. He’s produced for any and everyone: 50 Cent, Slick Rick, Lik Kim, Rakim and Canibus.