Abdul Malik Abbott // Abdul Malik Abbott
The Notorious B.I.G. had an impeccable ear for music, especially when it came to beats. Case in point, DJ Clark Kent's production on "Brooklyn's Finest." While the track stands as a perfect centerpiece on Jay Z's seminal debut, Reasonable Doubt, the instrumental production almost went to Biggie. At least, that's what he believed.
"It was what you would call a jack move, because B.I.G. heard it by accident," said Kent to REVOLT. As it turned out, the fellow Brooklyn native unintentionally played the beat, which was specifically crafted for Jay Z, while Biggie was around. "He heard it and was like, 'I want it.' I told him, I can't because it was for my boy Jay and he's like, 'Yo, you give him everything. At least let me be on it,'" Kent recalls of the unbelievable conversation. But if you guessed this instantly was what ultimately led to the still-amazing duet on Jay's magnum opus, you'd be hard-pressed. Kent had to deal with the task of convincing Jay to let The Notorious B.I.G., who had already skyrocketed off of Ready To Die fame, to hop on the record. "In my mind, I'm going great," said Kent. "But they don't know each other."
So with that in mind, Kent went to the recording to studio to finish "Brooklyn's Finest" with Jay, but unbeknownst to the Roc-A-Fella MC, Biggie was right downstairs. "I told [Big] to come to the studio with me but wait downstairs," recalled Kent. "So Jay records the song, and I probably should have said it before he recorded the whole song, but I was like, 'Yo, you should put Big on it.' He was like, 'Nah, I don't know him.' Then I was like, 'You know he's my man.'" After a little convincing, Jay eventually obliged and from there, "Brooklyn's Finest" was born, featuring a pair of budding twentysomething lyricists putting on for Brooklyn. It would also mark the start of a legendary friendship.
Reasonable Doubt 20