Clever Best
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Clever Best

Brooklyn, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | INDIE

Brooklyn, New York, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2011
Solo Hip Hop Experimental




"Still Getting Clever: A Follow up with Clever Best"

Clever Best is a Black man with a handle bar mustache and an insane amount of quarters. For some of you that may remember the name Clever Best, he was a member of our Annual Cypher and covered in a previous edition of A.R.T.S.Y. Like many of our readers, just like myself, I’ll take the liberty of assuming you never heard of Clever Best.

He is a young man trying to establish himself in the Wild Wild West of the Underground Rap scene. So through a few games of Street Fighter, being hipsters making Instagram videos and being drowned in a never ending cycle of quarters, I managed to catch up with Clever Best since A.R.T.S.Y. last heard from him.

Clever, a New Jersey Native, in the past recent months has, in a sense, sheltered himself to finish his music for his upcoming mixtape. The mixtape, which at this point is nameless, has a single out on YouTube entitled “Thinking Thoughts“ featuring Charpé and produced by Free P. When first pressing play I was drawn in by the slow tempo and how smooth the beat bumped. Clever Best, although not going into a lyrical spree, managed to still capture my attention. It sounded as if Lupe Fiasco smoked a blunt, hopped in the studio booth and let loose in his spare time. It was seemingly effortless. That is a missing element from a lot of music; the feeling as if the artist isn’t a complete try-hard. This is fueled by Clever Best’s nonchalant attitude on actually being successful.

“I don’t make music for the fame or to have money,” he said. “I make music to fill the void. I make the music I feel is missing on the radio.” There are no molly references; no one is killing anyone, just a little bragging, shows of confidence and a little incentive to be about that “420 Blaze It “ Life. He’s more than this, though. For the very few songs you can find by Clever, he tends to widen his subject matter. His verse on a YouTube video set to “Do For Love “ by Tupac, shows a more storytelling side to his rhymes.

“If I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it right,” he said as to why he has released such a small amount of music in the span of three years. Just like many up and coming artists, he was forced into free computer programs and any other cheap way to make music. In his recent days, hooking up with a brand new crew of artists has enabled him to make the quality of music he wanted to make it. I’ve heard a few tracks from his unnamed mixtape hopefully dropping before South By South West this summer, and they are real quality tracks. It is something to definitely look out for when it drops. It will carry a very Neo-Soul-like feel, which is Clever’s favorite type of music. He finds his inspiration in artists like The Roots and DeAngelo, and hopes to work with them one day.

If anything is to motivate him at all, it is putting Jersey on the map in a more positive light; showing a side of life that is unlike the trap music we hear from Newark. If worse comes to worst, he won’t fret because he’s content with whatever comes out of the music game for him. He’s just happy he gets to do something he truly loves. That’s an attitude you really don’t see now a days.

BY: Romel Lherisson - Artsy Magazine


Still working on that hot first release.



Hailing from the state of New Jersey, Clever Best brings a new sound and feel to the music world. Born and raised by a single mother in Hackensack, NJ, he found music as his safe zone. With artist like Kanye, Common and Pharrell in his headphones mixed with the sounds of the mid 90s played by his mother at home and the Motown classic vinyls that his grandparents kept in rotation- his idea of music was based off the uniqueness, quality and longevity of profound artist. At the age of 18 he began attending Shaw University in Raleigh, NC where he met Randolph Risely and began the life style brand Elegant Boredom. While at Shaw, Clever and his new found Elegant Boredom family began meeting different djs and artist in the Raleigh area such as fellow students Cyrus the Great of the Film Skool Rejekts, Kooley High and 9th Wonder. With the inspiration he received from their NC movement he began embarking on his own musical journey writing random verses and matching them to instrumentals of songs he grew up to and defined what he believed was true music. 
After his freshman year, he moved out to San Diego to work for a non profit organization and began to experience the musical talents of the west coast. From Blu & Exile to J*Davey, Terrace Martin, Dom Kennedy and Kendrick Lamar- he began to use the energy he received from their tracks to craft his own art and sound. In the summer of 2010, Clever returned to New Jersey to continue working on the fast growing Elegant Boredom line and to make his mark in the New Jersey hip-hop scene. Back on the East coast, after being introduced to the music of artist like Curren$y, Wiz Khalifa and Big Sean, he set his target on the underground hip-hop scene with hopes to bring back the style of music of the mid 90s where songs rocked body moving bass lines and longevity- Clever Best is New Jersey's newest prospect and hometown hero. 
His list of inspiring artist is a long and versatile one, which makes every track he works on different and new.