I’m tired, man. All this promo stuff…I had to take a little nap. I’m winded.
How did you want to make The Professional Part 3 different from the other two?
It’s a different lineup. There are different concepts. The sound is different too. The sound is really universal. I tried to make it different from all of the other albums. There are some of the same people, but different styles.
How involved do you get in the making of the tracks?
All of the artists are respected. The only joint that I got that was already done was the Snoop joint. Snoop did a couple of joints for me when he was on the West Coast. I’m in the studio coming up with concepts. I write hooks.
You brought Beanie Sigel, Freeway and Cassidy together on “Liberty Bell.” Was that hard to pull off?
I had Beans first. Then I hit Cas up, before he got in the accident. I had him drop a verse. Then I called Philly and told him to complete the cipher. Philly is one of the biggest markets and I wanted to show them some love back.
Was it hard to convince Freeway to do it?
No. He was with it.
What does that track mean to you?
It’s cool. I think that’s how it’s supposed to be.
You have Mobb Deep alongside D-Block and Fat Joe on the album. Some of these artists may not work with each other, but they’ll all get down on your compilation. What does that say about you as a DJ?
Sometimes you have to do that. Sometimes these cats need to squash this and squash that and just make money.
What was the most difficult track to put together on The Professional Part 3?
It was probably the Kanye track (“Like This”) because he kept on changing it.
Why isn’t Joe Budden on The Professional Part 3?
He was supposed to be on there. I was running around real busy and I couldn’t get with him. I had to finish this. He was working on his stuff. It’s nothing major.
How is your relationship with Joe Budden today?
Me and Joe are cool.
What’s the difference between a DJ Clue mixtape and a DJ Clue album?
I just want to make hot records. A hot record to me is going to be a hot record. On this album, I was just trying to make sure I was bringing the best out of the artists.
Did you do anything differently on The Professional Part 3 that you didn’t do on the first two?
Nah. I just try to keep the same focus on all the records I work with. I’m real particular with them and how they come out and sound.
The roster on the new compilation definitely changed from the last two. How has the game changed since 2001, when you dropped The Professional Part 2?
It’s a little bit different. The game has changed a lot. I think people are realizing that people aren’t going for that one-hit wonder and the artists who do two good joints for their album and the rest is whatever. I think the people are realizing that and that’s why sales are going down?
Did DJ Khaled’s Listen or Funkmaster Flex’s Car Show Tour motivate you to get a new album out?
Nah. Not at all.
Did Def Jam rush the promotion of The Professional Part 3?
It could have been promoted more. It definitely could have been promoted more, but what can I say? It’s kind of hard trying to sell an album to somebody and telling them the album is hot. My second album, I sold 250,000 copies in the first week and my record had under 300 spins, which is unheard of.
How could Def Jam have promoted you better?
I don’t even want to go there. I’m not going to sit here like some artists and bash my label. Record labels know how to get behind records and promote records if they want to. I’m not the crybaby type of individual, so I’m not even going to go that route.
Jay-Z has taken the brunt of criticism from Def Jam artists. Is that criticism of Jay-Z fair and warranted?
If you’re the CEO and stuff doesn’t go well, you’re going to get blamed. That’s just how it goes. You have to expect that.
What’s your relationship with Jay-Z today?
Do you still talk to Dame Dash?
Not like that. When I see him, I speak to him.
What’s going on with Desert Storm as a label?
We got my man Ransom coming out soon. We got a couple other artists we’re talking to. We’re working on making it pop off.
In our last interview, you said the A-Team didn’t break-up. Is the A-Team break-up official?
Yeah. They parted ways.
Do you still speak to Hitchcock?
I don’t really speak to him like that. Not at all.
Are you working on Fabolous’ new album?
Yeah. We’re working on a few joints.
Are you involved with Joe Budden’s The Growth?
Nah. Joe likes to go and do his own thing so I let him do his own thing.
What new artists are you feeling?
My man Ransom. He’s hot. There’s not too many new artists who I’m really dealing with right now. I respect people’s hustle. Stack Bundles, he works hard. He’s nice. Papoose works hard. They’re constantly putting stuff out. They don’t wait for nobody. You have to respect their hustle.
Are you currently working on any remixes?
Yeah. I was actually supposed to be working on this Ciara remix. I’m supposed to be working on that. I’m just trying to work right now.
Is satellite radio changing the way Power 105 and Hot97 work?
Satellite radio is cool, but I don’t know too-too many people in New York who listen to satellite radio. People out of town do. New York radio is so unique, I think New Yorkers listen to New York radio. Other places don’t really have hip-hop radio stations like New York. If you live in the middle of America and have more traditional hip-hop radio, then you might have satellite. I don’t think it’s really that big in a New York state of mind.
Do you see yourself getting into satellite radio?
If the money’s right.
What’s the next move for DJ Clue?
I’m just trying to make it pop off in ’07 and keep the legacy alive.
What do you want to say to everybody?
I thank everybody for their support from day one and for supporting me and my music. And I want to wish everybody a happy holiday.