Mixtape Reports
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This Month's Issue

Interview: Clinton Sparks [DJ Series]
Tuesday, November 28, 2006

T: With so much sway in the mixtape game, how come you haven't taken the reigns of Justo's Mixtape Awards?
C: I don't know if you know, but we dumped a lot of money into the Justo's Awards. We're a major sponsor. We are definitely a major factor when it comes to financing it. I'll do whatever we need to do to help the Awards.

T: But how about just taking control?
C: It's definitely something that crossed our minds. But Justo's girl Summer, she put a lot of work into it and she's helping to revive it and keep it alive.

T: With your Got It 4 Cheap mixtapes you kept the Clipse out there while they were having label trouble. What's you're relationship with the Clipse?
C: My relationship with the Clipse goes back to when they first started pushing their music, I was supporting them even before Grindin'. But when Grindin' came out that was one of those records that nobody understood, nobody got it and nobody jumped on it immediately. I'm a huge fan of new shit, different shit, trying things to the left. So, when that came out, I was all over that record. And they knew that through the label, they were telling them about this guy Clinton Sparks that was really on their record. So, obviously they apreciated that from an artist standpoint. But being on multiple stations, when it was time for them to start doing promo runs, they would see me at one station and we would kick it, and they'd go to another station, damn, Clinton you're here too? Yeah, yeah, what up? Go to another station and Clinton's there too. Damn, dude, you're all over the place. Yeah, dude, get familiar. So, we just kept runnin' into eachother, and then what that did, is that just developed into a personal relationship. We started doin' some show together. I would book them some college shows that I would be DJing, I would get the college to get them to come perform as well. So, when it was time for them to re-emerge with the Re-Up Gang and the Clipse's return back with their next album, who better to get people familiar with their new shit than Mr. Get Familiar himself? So, Pusha reached out to me and said, we want to do this Re-Up Gang mixtape, We Got It 4 Cheap, we want you to mix it, and I said, of course. The first one didn't really do to well, I believe that has to do with the cover. So, the second one I said, let me get the cover designed. The rest is history, the second one became a classic. Everything form Rolling Stone Magazine naming it one of the Top 50 Albums of 2005, and it wasn't even an album, it was a mixtape. USA Today mentioned it, Blender Magazine, even Entertainment Weekly mentioned that mixtape. So, that was a really big mixtape for them. I can't take all the credit, Pusha is the one that picked the beats, they basically got me all the music, and I just put it together and came up with the cover. Then, me and my team went hard on promoting it, getting press releases done on it, and travelling around the world giving the CDs out for free. I really think that played a role in why it became so big, because we literally gave out thousands and thousands of them...matter of fact we gave out thirty-thousand CDs for free!

T: And what's the word on the third instalment?
C: As a matter of fact, we just had a dinner in the Dominican Republic talking about that. They're working on their album which is coming out in November, and they got the Re-Up Gang album, and they're doing on a Streets Is Watching type of film and they're doing a soundtrack for that. So, they're really busy but at the same time Pusha conveyed to me that there's not really that many beats out there right now that he's feeling, that he wants to fuck with, that inspires him to write some shit. So, he's got probably like three beats stashed aside right now that he's interested in smashing on for Volume 3. It's definitely not going to be tomorrow but it's definitely gonna come.

T: Wasn't there supposed to be a bonus DVD with Volume 3 that is a live performance of Volume 2?
C: No, actually we're re-releasing Volume 2 with a DVD of the Got It 4 Cheap Volume 2 concert we did in New York City, as well as their video and then four extra songs that weren't on Volume 2.

T: Being from Boston, a real white town, what kinda white is Clinton Sparks?
C: Irish and Italian.

T: You support the Boston scene, like you just co-signed Termanology's mixtape, speak on that.
C: I'm about to do this mixtape with Krumbsnatcha. I've been in the Boston music scene friggin' forever. So, before most of the people (in Boston) that are rappin' now knew they even wanted to rap. I was throwing shows back in the day, and I was winning all the talent shows. I was up on college radio every single night, freestylin' and bringing up new records. I was the one responsible for the big commercial station here having a local Hip-Hop show on that channel. It's still there now. Everybody from Akrobatik to Mr. Lif to 7L & Esoteric, all dem guys, we all hung out. We all slept at my house, worked in my studio, done shows together. So, everybody that is making noise that is worth the time I'm pretty much cool with. Lately, I hooked up with Termanology and then the Krumbsnatcha mixtape I'm about to do in a couple weeks.

T: How did you get in that Scarface video game?
C: They reached out to me when they were casting. The casting people called me and asked me to be involved. When you steal a car and turn on the radio, you listen to me on the radio.

T: Name two DJs you think are most skilled mixtape DJs out there.
C: Dirty Harry and Green Lantern. Maybe there's somebody under the radar that I don't know. But when you talk about popular names, I feel like us three would be the three names that actually put time, energy, work and creativity into their mixtapes. I'm sure there's other ones, I'm just not familiar with them. I'm more familiar with the wack ones that are ruinin' it, than the talented ones.

T: Both of which we've have been in the magazine. Actually, Green Lantern is in this issue with you. Last words?
C: Here's the other thing I wanted to tell you, I just did a deal with Pepsi as well. I'm an official Pepsi DJ. You might see ads in magazines with me in 'em. Pepsi DJ Division, there's seven of us.

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