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12 February, 2007@12:00 am

    “DJ Clue… Clue… Clue!”

    When you heard this, you knew you were about to hear something exclusive.  Back in the late 90′s in Queens, a Clue tape was like Christmas coming early.  He knew how to introduce a song and unlike other DJ’s who screamed over everything, Clue sprinkled a few “Ha Ha’s” that added character to the mixtape.  Then in ’98 The Question Mark Man decided to take his show nationally with the release of The Professional and became the first DJ to go platinum.  Make no mistake about it, DJ Drama, Khaled, and Whoo Kid would not be where they are if it were not for the success of DJ Clue.  So during the crowded 4th quarter of 2006, Clue decided to drop The Professional Pt. 3 and remind folks where these DJ’s “got they whole style from.”

    The album starts off strong with the incredible track, “War” by Nas who is undoubtedly still on his “seek and destroy all that is wack” mission.  DJ Clue seems to bring the best out of the rappers that he works with (We remember what DMX did on the first album) and Nas definitely saves some classic bars for Clue joints.  Fabolous, who appears on three songs, brings his trademark swagger, none more evident than on “Da Boss”.  Even Mobb Deep’s “The Gold” is better than many of the songs that appeared on the dud they dropped last year.

   Clue is also known for his collaborations.  Putting some of today’s hottest emcees on the same track is always eventful.  The South shows up big on “Clear Da Scene”.  Lil’ Wayne, Rick Ross and Ransom definitely don’t disappoint all of the trappers and hustlers out there.  Paul Wall, Bun B and Mike Jones bring that Candy paint, grill wearing H-Town flavor on “Grill & Woman”. Not to ignore the ladies, Jagged Edge and Fabolous do a solid job covering the Jodeci classic, “Come and Talk to Me” with “I Really Wanna Know” and Mario Winans and The Game give us two tales of heartache and betrayal.

    While the rappers for the most part brought their “A” game lyrically, the quality of the production was not up to par.  “Like This” which had Fab and Kanye West going line for line was difficult to listen to as many of their punchlines were engulfed by irritating maracas.  The beat for Snoop’s raunchy “Almost F**ked” sounds like it got stuck in the 80′s next to an old Shalamar song.  Even the rare M.O.P. sighting (“Giantz of NYC”) is disappointing as the lackluster drums and piercing sample fail to match the intensity that the Brownsville brawlers bring.  Verses by Styles P and Consequence almost feel wasted as the producers dropped the ball on “The Animal” and “Uptown” respectively.

    Whenever you bring together so many different rappers and styles, it’s nearly impossible to please everyone.  If you don’t like that Down South sound, then you’ll hate a few songs on this album.  Conversely, if you can’t stand the way Philly and NY dudes rap then you’ll dislike some joints too.  So while compilations usually don’t get classic ratings, they aren’t considered terrible either.  DJ Clue always has his ear to the street and did a great job capturing the landscape of today’s Hip-Hop scene.  Every region is represented and new rappers are given the same stage as accomplished veterans.  Although he puts together a nice collection of songs, this album lacks a timeless classic like “Fantastic Four”, which can be talked about for years to come.  At the end of the day, Clue showed us that he’s still got it, but he left a little to be desired.

  Mixtape D.L.
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