Ernesto Shaw (born January 8, 1975) better known as DJ Clue?, is a mixtape DJ.
Shaw began his interest in music as an aspiring rapper by the name of MC Drama. During one recording session in 1989, an anxious Shaw decided to pass time by using a DJ’s turntable set. After that session, he developed a greater interest in DJing.
Now known as DJ Clue, he broke ground by releasing his first tape in 1990, “Clue #24”, which was given that name in order for him to appear more experienced than he actually had been at the time. Through the years, Clue built a following in the mixtape game (which at the time was dominated by the likes of DJ Kid Capri and others). As the mid-1990s approached, Clue became known for not only the quality of his tapes, but for having exclusive songs not found on tapes by other DJ’s. One mixtape in the summer of 1994, featured two unreleased songs by The Notorious B.I.G. from his forthcoming album, Ready To Die, which drew the ire of not only B.I.G., but CEO of Bad Boy Entertainment, Sean “Puffy” Combs. This move, however, turned out to prove beneficial to Clue’s rise. Upon meeting Combs, Clue began establishing a relationship with Bad Boy Records, resulting in what would be his most popular mixtape to date (at the time), “Bad Boy Mixtape Vol. 1”, hosted by Combs.
From this point, Clue became the top DJ on the mixtape circuit by the end of 1995. His rep increased with each tape he created, often beating all other DJs to the punch with new music. Gradually, Clue moved away from the “traditional” style of mixtapes, which usually featured scratching and the blending of a cappella songs with instrumental tracks. Instead, he simply focused on having the absolute newest music and special appearances by many top and upcoming New York hip-hop acts. Some of the artists commonly remembered for making early appearances on Clue’s tapes include The Lox, DMX, Cam’ron, Mase, Jay-Z, Canibus, Fabolous, Ja Rule, and more. Due to his heavy presence n the street level, which led to his tapes expanding from the East Coast to across the globe, Clue inked a record deal with Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam Records in 1997. He also landed his own radio show, The Monday Night Mixtape, on New York’s Hot 97.
The following year, while still at the top of the mixtape game, Clue dropped his majorlabel debut album, The Professional, which was certified platinum. He followed this in 2001 with The Professional 2, which was certified gold. He later became host of MTV’s Direct Effect in 2002. During this time, Clue began building the careers of rappers Fabolous and Joe Budden under his own Desert Storm Entertainment. He also began producing, handling the bulk of the production on his own albums, as well as songs for the likes of Jay-Z, Mariah Carey, and others.
Today, DJ Clue is the nightly DJ on Power 105.1 in New York, as well as in nightclubs across the country and overseas.