DJ Clark Kent Remembers Junior M.A.F.I.A’s Player’s Anthem With A Funny LL Cool J Story (Video)
DJ Clark Kent is one of Hip-Hop’s most consistent veterans. A DJ, a record executive, a producer, and a sneaker-head, Clark’s hands (and more importantly, his ears) have shaped the careers of many, ranging from Jay Z and Rakim, to Saafir and Canibus.
Sitting down with Hip-Hop Wire’s Alvin Blanco, Clark remembers bringing Ski (today, better known as Ski Beatz) to the Roc-A-Fella Records fold, by virtue of Original Flavor. Then, and perhaps more interestingly, Clark opens up about one of his finest productions: “Player’s Anthem” by Junior M.A.F.I.A.
A would-be gold-certified 1995 single, “Player’s Anthem” helped brand Junior M.A.F.I.A, making a name and career pathways for Lil’ Kim and Lil’ Cease in step. As Clark reveals, the Minnie Riperton-sampling beat was shopped around the industry, to the likes of Jay Z and LL Cool J, among others. As “ClarkWorld” remembers it, nobody showed interest of any kind.
Initially skeptical of B.I.G’s crew, Clark Kent remembers being surprised when Biggie Smalls’ real-life street entourage hit the mic with style and grace in late 1994, upon recording. Upon a late-night recording session for Big Beat Records, Clark and the M.A.F.I.A. hit The Tunnel for a night-cap. There, a DJ immortalized in Tunnel legend, DJ Big Kap, reportedly played the just-cut record 10 times, consecutively.
As the crowd went crazy for the latest B.I.G-bolstered single, LL Cool J reportedly ran up on the producer (who did the famed remix too), and asked for more tracks like that.
History can be funny sometimes.
Which “Player’s Anthem” version do you prefer?