DJ Clue Gets "Professional" With Street A&R Role

Since emerging on the New York urban scene a few years back, DJ Clue has helped "break" such rappers as DMX by showcasing their work on Clue's underground hip-hop mix tapes, which are immensely popular on the streets.

Now DMX returns the favor by contributing to two tracks on Clue's first above-ground release, "The Professional," which arrived in stores last month and features new material from Nas, Jay-Z and the Wu-Tang Clan's Raekwon, as well as appearances from Puff Daddy, Noreaga, Mase, Foxy Brown and Redman, among others.

On his tapes, Clue is known for providing exclusive previews of songs and reworked cuts from some of the hottest up and coming hip-hoppers, based upon the artist's "street buzz" at the time. And while pulling together such a wide collection of rappers may seem like an incredibly complex task, Clue told MTV that gathering such material is usually as easy as making a couple of phone calls.

"Sometimes the artist

will call me," DJ Clue said, "or [a record label's] A&R rep will call me, saying 'Yo, I need to get somethin' on your tape,' or maybe I'll see them on the street, or they'll call me on my cell [phone], whatever. I'm cool with everybody. We keep in contact."

"So yeah, they'll call me at home," he continued, "they'll call me on my cell phone. They'll call me and say, 'I have some stuff on the plate for you,' and I'm like, 'Let's get together.' Or artists come to me and say, 'What do you think my first single should be?' I'm like a street A&R." [28.8 RealVideo]

Clue has already issued one if his collaborations with DMX, "It's On," as the first single from "The Professional," although there's no word on plans for a video.