DJ Clark Kent Reveals Jay-Z Had To Be Persuaded To Make “Reasonable Doubt”

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On the 25th anniversary of Jay-Z’s “Reasonable Doubt,” DJ Clark Kent talks to Apple Music and shares secrets about Hov’s classic debut album.

Today, June 25, 2021, marks the 25th anniversary of one of the most highly revered Hip-Hop albums of all time — Reasonable Doubt. Arriving long before Jay-Z minted his status as one of the most popular rappers of all time, Hov’s classic debut album debuted at #26 on the Billboard 200 and was greeted with critical acclaim, but commercially, it paled in comparison to the success of the chart-topping albums that Hov is known to brag about. To this day, it’s almost unbelievable that the album has only been certified platinum after 25 years.

Regardless, Reasonable Doubt has gone on to age well and be remembered as a bonafide classic, and in honor of its landmark anniversary, DJ Clark Kent — who was an integral part of the album’s creation process — has hit Apple Music’s to give never-before-heard insights about Jay-Z’s debut album for the Essential Album: Reasonable Doubt special. 

Jay-Z appears in a portrait taken at the Roc-A-Fella Records offices on June, 10, 1996 in New York City.

One of the most mind-blowing reveals from DJ Clark Kent’s Apple Music appearance is the fact that Clark Kent had to plead with Jay-Z to even make Reasonable Doubt. Apparently, it was so difficult to persuade Hov that the legendary DJ and producer had to enlist the help of Briant “Bee-High” Biggs. Here’s everything that DJ Clark Kent had to say about convincing Jay-Z to record Reasonable Doubt:

“It took like a month to get him to come to New York. It was a lot of persuading. And then when he got here, it was more persuading to get him to come to the studio. Bee-High was another one who truly was like, “This guy has to do this.” I mean, of course, I make music, so it moved in that direction, but Bee-High was one who was like, “Man, cut the s***, get to rapping.” So if I had any real assist, the real assist would be Bee-High. His cousin was just like, “Yo, what the f***, Bee?” It was a serious time. So to me, all the thank you I ever really need or needed was he kept going and he was proving everything that I said, he proved it right. You know what I’m saying? I could step away and go, “You see, he proved what I was saying right.” And that’s the best part of everything about it. I wasn’t bugging, and something amazing came from my crazy thoughts. Imagine telling somebody who’s got a million dollars, “Bro, you should stop doing that thing that got you the million dollars. And let’s go over here and do this where there’s no promise of it. But I just believe in your talent so much that you’ll be fine.”

While the thought of Jay-Z dragging his feet when creating arguably one of the best bodies of work of his career is kind of hard to internalize, DJ Clark Kent also reveals another major secret about Reasonable Doubt. According to Kent, an extremely rare Hov song came just shy of making the cut due to technical issues, and astoundingly, it has not released or resurfaced to this day.

“There was only one thing that didn’t happen on the album,” DJ Clark Kent reveals. “There was a song that was supposed to be on an album that we couldn’t find the dap for when it was time to master, so it just didn’t make the album. It was called “Tell Me How It Feels.” It would have been perfect on the album. It’s funny because I was listening to the song recently, thinking to myself, ‘It’s probably only like five people who’s ever heard this song. And it was the five people who were right there.'”

Kent also reveals that a woman who went by the stage name of Black Widow appeared on the song. Apparently, Black Widow was actually set to appear on “Ain’t No N*gga” too, but Clark Kent said that the song became what it is because he stepped in and said, “Get my cousin Fox.”

With all of these huge reveals from DJ Clark Kent, what are you most surprised about? Marinate over these crazy insights by celebrating the 25th anniversary of Jay-Z’s Reasonable Doubt and listening to it below.

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