Mixtape Memories: 10 Classic DJ Clue Mixtapes Released in 1995

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Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)

1995 was a landmark year for New York hip-hop. Wu-Tang Clan released a trio of classic solo albums (Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s Return to the 36 Chambers, Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…, and GZA’s Liquid Swords), Mobb Deep dropped their magnum opus The Infamous, Biggie and Nas continued their reigns with incredible features, loosies, and remixes, and legendary hometown heroes like KRS-One, Fat Joe, and Kool G Rap all put out stellar solo LPs. And in the midst of it all, DJ Clue was there to usher in the flavor.

Straight out of Queens, DJ Clue—who now holds down an evening slot on Power 105 and is known worldwide for his club and party-rocking talents—made a name for himself back in the ‘90s breaking exclusive records on his mixtapes. In 1995, Clue was heavy on the scene, battling dudes like DJ S&S, DJ Craig G, Doo Wop, Tony Touch, and Ron G for the top mixtape DJ spot in the city. And though his competition was stronger than ever, Clue’s consistency, quality, and uncanny ability to get records no one had yet at a rapid rate made him the guy to beat. He was even nice with the blends. Yup, Clue was definitely putting in work in 1995, dropping hot tapes nonstop.

Twenty years later, let’s take a look and listen back at 10 Classic DJ Clue Mixtapes Released in 1995 for our latest edition of Mixtape Memories, and revisit all the tight tracklists filled with crazy songs he introduced us to—early. Do remember.

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1. Springtyme Stickup Pt. 1

Okay, since it’s April now, let’s start with Clue’s first hip-hop drop from spring 1995. Off top, you’ve got the worldwide premiere of Junior Mafia’s instant hit “Player’s Anthem,” featuring Biggie, breakout star Lil’ Kim, and the original weed carrier himself Lil’ Cease (no shots, Cease got skills). This was huge considering that B.I.G. was coming off the release of Ready To Die and everyone was on the edge of their seat waiting to hear what he was going to put out next. New Biggies were gold in the mixtape game, and Clue was all over them.

Plus, this tape was the first time anyone heard “Eye For An Eye,” and it had the original Mobb Deep verses on it that weren’t featured on the album version. Also, Mary J. Blige’s dope “I’m Goin’ Down (Remix),” new shit from Grand Puba, Kool G Rap, and Jeru The Damaja, and much more. Banger after banger here.

 

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2. Spring Pt. 2 – Double Flava

I gotta give a big shout to the one and only DJ Soul for pulling this joint out of his personal stash for us. Double Flava was mostly a blend tape (don’t sleep on Clue’s blend skills!), but it did have some new joints off The Infamous on it, as well as “Glaciers of Ice” well before Cuban Linx dropped. Plus plenty of Mary J. Blige, including her “All I Need (Remix)” with Method Man that became one of the biggest songs of the year. Pardon the missing audio at the beginning of Side A, this is an authentic cassette rip from back in the day, and as they say, shit happens.

 

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3. Springtyme Stickup Pt. 3

Clue continued to lace listeners all spring, and for the first time his tapes were provided via a new format—CDs! It didn’t really catch on too tough for another few years, but yes, Springtyme Stickup Pt. 3 was available on CD back in 1995, if you were lucky enough to find it. And it had what would become the song of the summer on it, Biggie’s “One More Chance (Remix),” plus mad other shit, including dope new Mary J. Blige remixes with Lauryn Hill, LL Cool J, and Smif-n-Wessun, AZ’s new “Sugar Hill” single, and brand new Mobb Deep collabos with Q-Tip and Ghost & Rae from The Infamous. Not to mention new Lost Boyz, Grand Puba and Sadat X, the Crooklyn Dodgers sequel, and much more. This tape got nuff burn well into the summer, for sure.

 

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4. Bad Boy Mixtape Vol. 1 (Hosted by Puff Daddy)

When it was time for Puff Daddy to start up his Bad Boy mixtape series, he went straight to Clue to set it off. And Clue came and did his job with the perfect playlist for summer cruising, and it had Biggie’s exclusive “Young G’s” verse on it so it was a must cop just off the strength of that.

 

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5. Summatyme Shootout Pt. 1

Clue kept killing it for his own summer series with mad blends and exclusive flavor on his first Summatyme Shootout tape. Def check for Total’s “Can’t You See (Remix)” with Keith Murray stepping in for Biggie on Side A, and the premiere of Method Man and Redman’s “How High (Remix)” on Side B, as well as ill new Wu shit like GZA’s single “Labels” and Rae and Ghost’s heat rock “Criminology”—nice and early. Plus, the perfect AZ summer joint—”Rather Unique” produced by Pete Rock—and plenty of dope R&B blends, too. Fresh tape right here. Oh, and pardon the lack of cover art, but to keep it all the way real, lots of times mixtapes had no label or cover by the time you got your hands on them. All that mattered was the music.

 

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6. Summatyme Shootout Pt. 2

This tape was a serious problem. First off, you got the world premiere of Kool G Rap and Nas’ “Fast Life.” Whoa. Then, the world premiere of Biggie and Lil’ Kim’s “Get Money.” Insane. Plus, mad new Cuban Linx joints, exclusive Q-Tip joints including “Extra Abstract Skillz” with Mad Skillz and Large Pro, and gems like G Rap’s “It’s a Shame (Remix).” ’95 was definitely a hot summer.

 

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7. Dedication To My People

Okay, when you press play on this, I want you to imagine hearing Jodeci’s “Freak ‘n’ You” remix with Raekwon and Ghostface Killah for the first time. Try your best to relive that experience with us. Let’s see how many times you press rewind before you move on to the next song. Go ahead. Give it a shot. And yes, the rest of the tape had lots of fresh new R&B and hip-hop all over it too. Mariah Carey’s “Fantasy (Remix)” with ODB, what?! Plus two new crucial KRS-One joints were on here—the DJ Premier-produced “MC’s Act Like They Don’t Know” and a Top 5 rap song of all time for me personally, the Diamond D-produced banger “Bronx Tale” with fellow BX borough representative Fat Joe. I still remember hearing that song for the first time on this tape—it blew my mind.

 

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8. Fall Flava

This was my personal favorite Clue tape of ‘95, just off Side A. There were so many new songs on here that to this day are some of my most cherished hip-hop joints ever. First off, you got the premiere of Nas and AZ’s incredible duet “Mo Money, Mo Murder ‘Homicide’.” Then, a bunch of exclusive tracks off Fat Joe’s Jealous One’s Envy album (my top LP of his), GZA’s instant classic new single “Liquid Swords,” a highly slept-on Redman and Erick Sermon collabo, new Group Home shit, an ill Capleton and Method Man joint, and much more. Don’t miss the Aaron Hall “Curiosity (Remix)” with Redman on Side B too, that was my jam!

 

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9. Halloween Hold Up Pt. 2

As if he didn’t give you enough on Fall Flava to hold you over for the season, Clue returned strong with a sequel to his first Halloween Hold Up tape from ‘94 with even more exclusives. No, you’re not reading it wrong. Clue had Mobb Deep’s “Still Shinin’” almost a year before it was released on Hell on Earth. And he kept the flames flying after that with LL Cool J’s star-studded “Who Shot Ya (Remix),” Smoothe Da Hustler’s banger “Broken Language,” and more new shit by Fat Joe, and AZ and Nas. Plus he went nuts on Side B with a never-before-heard GZA joint off Liquid Swords featuring Wu-Tang’s hottest members Rae and Ghost, The Fugees new single “Fugee La,” Onyx’s new single “Last Dayz,” Lord Finesse, KRS-One, and O.C.’s crazy collabo off The Awakening, and much more. It’s not even funny how many classics appeared on this tape before they were officially released. No tricks, just treats.

 

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10. Winter Pt. 1 – Somethin From The Radio

To finish the year strong and set off what would be another epic year for New York hip-hop, Clue dropped his first tape of the winter ‘95/’96. Since he had pretty much fired off all the exclusives he had in his clip on his two fall tapes, he showed off his skills with the blends on this one. But for those after exclusives, there were still some unreleased bangers on here too, like Busta’s hard body new joint “Everything Remains Raw,” Cypress Hill’s “Throw Your Hands in the Air” with Erick Sermon, Redman, and MC Eiht, the dope Das EFX and Mobb Deep “Microphone Masters (Remix),” and a new R. Kelly and Biggie collabo. Consider it a preview of the craziness that was to come in 1996. Just think, there was no Jay Z to be found on any of these tapes! That would soon change, though…

Audio/Visuals via Recognize The Real, IllzDaTapeCollecta, 238Beats, UpNorthTripsDJ Soul, Old School Mixtape Spot, Discogs, and the Westchedddar archives. And major props to all the sites and individuals who help keep mixtape culture alive. 

Previously:

Mixtape Memories with DJ Doo Wop
Mixtape Memories with DJ Ron G
Mixtape Memories: 20 Classic LOX Mixtape Cuts
Mixtape Memories: 5 Classic JR Writer Freestyles
Mixtape Memories: 15 Classic Cam’ron Mixtape Cuts
Mixtape Memories with DJ SNS
Mixtape Memories: 20 Classic Nas Mixtape Cuts
Mixtape Memories with DJ Whoo Kid (Part 1)
Mixtape Memories with DJ Whoo Kid (Part 2)
Mixtape Memories with DJ Drama (Part 1)
Mixtape Memories with DJ Drama (Part 2)
Mixtape Memories with DJ Green Lantern (Part 1)
Mixtape Memories with DJ Green Lantern (Part 2)
Mixtape Memories with Tony Touch
Mixtape Memories: 10 Classic Biggie Smalls Mixtape Cuts
Mixtape Memories: 5 Classic Kanye West Freestyles
Mixtape Memories: 5 Classic Redman Freestyles

Catch up on all previous NahRight features HERE.


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One Response to “Mixtape Memories: 10 Classic DJ Clue Mixtapes Released in 1995”

  1. Arthur JR Says:

    Very nice article, really needed. Clue was always dope on those tapes, now you should do one on his tapes from 1994, like Hip Hop Heatwave (which I REALLY need to find a rip!), Blizzard ’94 and Halloween Hold Up pt.1. And, of course, his crazy tapes from 1996.

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