DJ Clue had long gained notoriety for his street tapes before aligning himself to the then rising Roc-a-Fella records. Said move solidified his grounds in the game; imagine being the official DJ rubbing shoulders with Jay-Z and Mr Dash, sharing drinks with Mariah Carey while being afforded the opportunity to launch his own label (shouts to Mr “Duro”) with new acts all at once. A dream come true if you asked me.
I clearly remember copping his official debut “The Professional pt 1” in high school, although I have heard the name (his infamous screaming every minute and a half over songs) on numerous mix tape cuts and all. His debut was an explosive one if I do say so myself. The album was essentially a collage of the biggest names in rap at the time. This was the era when DMX had the game on lock with the key in his throat so it made commercial sense to put him on not one but two joints. One of which was the all star remix of the hit single ‘Ruff Ryder’s Anthem” (Drag-On kilt it though). On another note DJ Clue helped introduce Fabolous (whom I thought had a style similar to Ma$e) and when they both appeared on That’s The Way)it kinda begs the question. The features on here are quite remarkable, from Raekwon, Lord Tariq, Jay Z, Nas, MOP, Boot Camp Click to EPMD but the most interesting one had to be – you guessed as much – ‘Fantastic Four’, a 4 man collabo involving Big Pun, Noreaga, Cam’Ron and Canibus. This was ’98, and need I reiterate who was killing features back then. Do yourself a favour and peep said track.
The fillers are less than a handful and pose little threat to the longevity of this project so I totally recommend y’all to check it out if you haven’t already.
Fantastic Four Pt 1
After a 3 year gap, DJ Clue returned with a sequel. The time was different; the acts had changed and a new breed of emcees where reigning. This was another record I was anxiously waiting for and it sure kept me same while studying A-Level Cambridge Calculus.
Ok, back to the lecture at hand: the format remained the same, DJ Clue employed established acts for most of the songs, but also included a few upcoming artists (Paul Cain, Muggs, Bathgate et al) and even had a bounce track in the form of ‘Niggaz Dem‘ by Trick Daddy & Trina. More or less, the same artists that appeared on the 1st edition reprised their role. Jay Z jumps on the ‘Who Shot Ya” instrumental and delivers a solid verse. Pairing Jadakiss and Mary J Blige for the Back 2 Life 2001 edition was a brilliant commercial move and a sure banger for the block parties. The sequel to the classic Fantastic Four was slightly different, he brought back Cam’Ron but added new members in the form of The Lox, Nature and Fabolous. A solid track but it falls a little short compared to it’s predecessor (R.I.P Big Pun). Even Queensbridge representatives Nas and Mobb Deep return to do their thing on this project and to think less than a year later, Jigga will be going against those 2. To be honest the “beef” was kinda bubbling under at that time anyway.
Fantastic Four 2
Like I say, this is not a review but rather an honest depiction of my personal viewpoint with some facts to match. With that being said both projects are solid and well rounded with more bangers than fillers supported and being on one of the high profile labels at said time didn’t hurt either.
I know Clue dropped the 3rd edition and I will admit,I’m yet to listen to it in full (and a fourth is in the works by the way) but in the interim, let’s bask in the past glory and enjoy the dopeness from Professional 1 and 2.