DJ Clark Kent Knows…Fresh
DJ Clark Kent. He’s a legend in his own right. He discovered the greatest rapper alive…Jay-Z. He’s worked with hip-hop royalty including Biggie. And he’s Foxy Brown’s cousin. Oh yeah, plus he’s a major sneakerhead if you haven’t caught on. Read on as he we met up with him at Miami’s ultimate sneaker destination..Shoe Gallery. Clark discusses his latest 112 Pack with Nike, his relationship with Mi Gente Clothing and also lets us know exactly what Clark Knows!!!
DRO: What brings you to Miami?
Clark Kent: Well you know I came down to do the shoe release and autographs with Danny at Shoe Gallery. You know, and we sold out in 45 minutes. We got the afterparty at Nikki Beach. Yo, the sneaker thing is really something I love. but I am a DJ first. So in the club is where you really get to see what I do. That’s where the movie ensues. That’s when Clark Scorsese gets it in. I make movies….get into it.
So tell me a little about the 112 pack. I saw the line of people that were outside Shoe Gallery for two days. Give me a little back story on the creation of the pack.
Well, I’m a consultant to Nike and I sat down with my boy Astor Chambers who’s Global Brand Marketing and I said I wanted to do a shoe. He agreed and half-way through the design he tells me to do a 1’s pack. I told him that it was easy to do but that I never really wore trainers. He told me that the challenge was to make a trainer that I would wear. So I sat down and 12 minutes later the entire pack was designed with pure heat.
Yeah. But you know, I had the idea for the idea for the Air Force’s like ten years ago. So I had a little jump on that one. I just needed to wait for my chance to get inside the building and I’m in now. I’m sold out worldwide.
So how’d you link up with Mi Gente Clothing (who designed a special T-shirt to go along with the 112 pack)?
Well one day I was watching a video and a good good good friend of mines named Fat Joe was wearing a shirt that said “Joe Knows” and it was sick because it matched the shoes that he had on. And was like ‘who the hell did that?’ So I called Macho, who’s Joe’s manager and asked him about the shirt and he said his boy Safe with Mi Gente Clothing did it and that he’ll hook me up with him. Well…it took approximately nine months for Macho to even let it be okay for me to talk to Safe… (Laughs)
Some people are protective of their connect, no? (Laughs)
But you know, after 5 months of me buying like every other T-Shirt that Mi Gente had, I guess somebody gave the green light for a “Clark Knows” shirt to be made for me. You know, cuz that’s what I was on. Joe’s shirts said “Joe Knows Kicks”. And there’s no lie to that, but I REALLY know Kicks too! I was a little jealous so I wanted one of them shirts that said “Clark Knows…” So it took the time but me and Safe have since become really close and we both help each other out extremely. But we’re doing things that are gonna be big for the culture that we’re trying to cultivate. Safe is just a dope designer period. I gotta give him his effective props and I’m glad that I am even able to associate with him. I wear Mi Gente at least four to five times a week.
So, besides kicks, what else does Clark know?
Clark-Knows-FRESH. Just the way it sounds. Anything that you could imagine being fresh. I’m addicted to fresh. I know fresh. Sneakers, music, computers, studio equipment, phones, watches. I know fresh-everything. Matter fact…
(***this is where Clark stops the interview and yells out for Safe from Shoe Gallery’s backroom to tell him that he needs for him and Resh [Safe’s partner with Mi Gente] to create him a “Clark Knows Fresh” t-shirt***)
That’s gonna be the new Clark Mi Gente shirt. “Clark Knows Fresh”….I like that. Thanks for asking that question.
It was born right here.
You just sparked a new shirt! Thank you!
Word, glad I could help! So…what’s your favorite thing about Miami?
The energy! I used to come to Miami before there was hip-hop on South Beach. Me and this guy named Peter Thomas, who had a club named Club Onyx that used to be on the beach – and I used to be the DJ that would come down from New York every week. Even though we took a little bit of a beating in the beginning, its still built the hip-hop element on South Beach. He also threw How Can I Be Down? If he didn’t do those things, you probably wouldn’t see hip-hop like how it is right now on Miami Beach. So when all that kept growing I always came down. The energy down here just started to become like a monster. When you come down here, the energy of being in a club down here is insane. And I’m a DJ and that’s what you DJ for…the energy. That’s what its about.
What do you have coming up?
I’m working on a new young guy named Curtains. Also Sandman from The Re-Up Gang. And I think I’m going to start on my cousin Foxy Brown’s next project any day now. She has a new deal and we just finished talking the other day. I love her for being blood and she’s been through some stuff. So after anybody goes through some stuff, you really need the people around you that care about you to really hold you down. I’ma definitely hold it down for her.
Favorite beat ever made?
My favorite beat was the “Brooklyn’s Finest” beat because its the most unorthodox beat. Its not four bars and its just made wrong. It was made wrong on purpose. The whole making-of-the-record was something else before Biggie got to it. It was a totally different song and all the elements happened to come together for where they needed to be. Biggie actually heard the beat by accident before and wanted it for himself, but I had already made it specifically for Jay. But that to me is the best beat I ever made. But you know, music is not like that anymore…
You mentioned your favorite beat, now how about your favorite song?
The best song that I think I ever made was “Sky’s The Limit” with Biggie. The song just feels perfect.
So any last words before we let you go?
I want to the following rules to be set! I just wanna say that heir to throne when it comes to kicks is a guy named Mayor from The Bronx, he’s one of my better friends. We have over 25 years of friendship and his Air Force 1 collection is retarded. Also, Frank “All Day” White from Brooklyn has the most Air’s around. And the best sneaker collection all around is DJ Greg Street. But the best Air collection…you got it right here. Clark Kent!
— You can check out Part I of this story that features photos and an event recap by clicking here.