2Chainz Drops New Project 'Rap Or Go To The League', featuring ClarkBoy track 'Sam'
LCP Exclusive: ClarkBoy Speaks on his First Mainstream Hip-Hop Track Placement!
It’s not every day you wake up to the budding manifestation of your dream fulfilled.
The moment that time stands still as your mouth drops open and your stomach goes hollow while you come to terms with the fact that your big break has arrived: industry validation, an appreciation of your blood, sweat and tears, and track placement on Grammy Award-winning, Hip-Hop recording artist 2Chainz’ fifth studio album, ‘Rap or Go To The League’ [drops today].
For up-and-coming music producer Bryan ‘ClarkBoy’ Clark, that’s exactly what happened. Just days ago, the multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter and rapper awoke to what he describes as the “best day” of his life when 2Chainz released a promo-reel featuring himself and NBA MVP LeBron James, who is also his A&R [for this album] in a private in-studio listening session.
The mega-rapper played a number of tracks for James, but spent a significant amount of time on the ClarkBoy track ‘Sam’, gifting ClarkBoy an incredible “Mama We Made It’ moment, and the world a sneak peek of the next “sound” to take over the airwaves.
ClarkBoy said he couldn’t have gotten this break without the help of Platinum-Producer M16. ClarkBoy, who was once a Birmingham resident, said he met the fellow producer more than ten years ago in a local music store.
“I walked up to two random guys in the music store one day when I was there just shopping for music supplies and asked them what they do,” ClarkBoy said, “and one of them happened to be Grammy nominated producer M16.”
M16 has created music with many of Hip-Hop's biggest artists: Young Jeezy, Andre 3000, Gucci Mane, Jay-Z, and Rick Ross to name a few.
Thenceforth, ClarkBoy and the mega-producer began to develop comradery.
“Over the years, I've been sending him music, spontaneously, just for him to listen to it,” he said, “and finally we built up a good enough relationship and the music came together enough for him to give it a chance,” ClarkBoy said.
The Selma, Alabama born rapper said he didn’t have any expectations for the tracks he would send M16, not even for ‘High Life’, which 2Chainz renamed, ‘Sam’.
“I actually did not think he was going to do anything with the track [Sam]. I just sent it to him and told him ‘hey, this may be something you can appreciate, just listen to it,’ I wasn't looking for anything in return,” ClarkBoy said.
But, when you plant the seeds, you’ll reap the harvest. Months later, ClarkBoy said he received a text that would be the beginning of his first full-fledged industry level opportunity.
“One day while I was working my second job, I got a text [from M16] saying "hey, I think I got you a placement on 2Chainz new project", ClarkBoy said, “and the rest was history.”
ClarkBoy, an Alabama ‘Bay Area’ [Mobile] native, said he experienced “a bunch of different emotions” when he saw that the promo heavily featured his track.
“I thought I was just gonna get a placement on the album but seeing the best basketball player in the world, LeBron James, bobbing his head, singing my music...just heightened my emotions, man. I felt excited. I felt surprised and very very lucky,” he said, “because this is a process. I couldn't believe how lucky I was to have this placement, let alone having Lebron James involved with the project, it’s crazy man,” ClarkBoy said.
Where did he get his start? Inside his home. “I'm not just a producer, I'm a music person in general,” ClarkBoy said.
“I was raised around music so anything can influence me, from the chirp of a bird to a commercial on tv, or a random noise or sound, music is really everywhere,” he said. “Just about anything just can bring creativity and music into my studio, I’ve tapped on glass, making a beat using chopsticks and recorded it.”
How does he describe his musical style and genre? He said-- “I am very diverse.”
“As an artist who has been making music for this industry for so long, I love the old but I love the new as well,” he said, “so I find a way to bridge the gap. Like the ‘Sam’ beat, it’s the perfect example of bridging the old with the new.
Music is his greatest expression, “I play whatever I’m feeling. If I’m in a depressed state, it will sound dark, like heavy thoughts.”
ClarkBoy is a self-taught musician, with a keen dexterity for the piano, trumpet, and “a little guitar,” he said. “With the guitar, I can play well enough to create whatever sound I’m going for.”
With a career that’s been ten years in the making, ClarkBoy said he’s had to go with the ebb and flow of the industry. “You have to move with the times. I can't keep making music that sounds like I'm 2005 crunk and that’s not what’s hot right now,” he said.
“Music quality has changed,” ClarkBoy said. “You hear things in music today that you didn't hear ten years ago. The sounds are a lot bigger and the industry is a lot more bass heavy. Also, a lot of synthesized instruments are being used today. Things today are a lot simpler too, being that quality is so good, you do not need 7-8 instruments in an instrumental anymore,” he said. “Now all you need is one sound, trap drums, heavy bass and people will love it; it’s not how it used to be.”
Don’t misinterpret his dissection of modern hip-hop, “I love the new style and the new artists and how they put tracks together,” ClarkBoy said, “I actually really genuinely love it.”
At Life. Culture. People., we call it like we see it-- ClarkBoy IS Hip-Hop’s next mega-producer! #HeLit. After the world learns of his authentic sound, he hopes to attract the likes of “jay z, Eminem, J-Cole and Nipsey Hustle.... just to name few.
ClarkBoy wants to go international-- “I want the whole world to hear my sound, that's what I'm here for. I want to be on an international level and be recognized as an international super producer. That's my major goal,” he said.
As for what he’s got in the works for himself-- “I’m actually shooting my own video to one my songs on my personal project, its a song called ‘Flip’ on a project called ‘27‘ which you can find on every music streaming platform, Apple music, Spotify, Tidal, Google play, Youtube.”
ClarkBoy’s break has been a long time coming, “So many people are saying [this opportunity is] "well deserved" and I don't plan to disappoint,” he said. “If you have similar dreams like me, don't ever listen to anybody telling you that you can't do it. I literally followed my dreams until they came true. Dreams really do come true,” he said, “and that is coming from a country boy born in Selma, AL, and raised in Mobile, AL.
“But really, my main focus is to continue producing on this mainstream level now that I have this track under my belt, and hopefully produce for the world.”
“I want to say thank you so much 2chainz, M16, Lebron James. thank you for all the love and support I've been receiving from fans, friends and family, and the positive feedback about the 2chainz track,” he said. “And, I can’t forget you [me, Je’Don Holloway-Talley, a long-time friend and Journalist lol], your distinct voice will forever and always be the first voice the world hears at the beginning of every track I ever make,” he said. “It’s been that way for the past 10-years, it’s gonna stay that way!”
(much appreciated, ClarkBoy lol)
*Full Disclosure-- ClarkBoy and LCP’s Curator have long established friendship and industry rapport. No biased opinions or views were expressed in this article.
Follow ClarkBoy on Instagram @therealclarkboy