David “DJ Quik” Blake is
considered one of the rap game’s most talented
music producers by fans worldwide. As an artist, he was first introduced to us on his early 90’s
release Quik Is The Name and became
one of the main pillars that the West Coast rap scene was built upon with
tracks like “Born and Raised in Compton” and “Tonite.”
DJ Quik followed up the success of
his solo release with other highly acclaimed albums such as Way 2 Fonky, Safe & Sound, and Rhythm-al-ism, which saw him defend the city of
Compton, endure a beef with fellow hometown rapper MC Eiht and even declare
himself not a gangster on 1998’s “You’z A Ganxta.”
The new millennium brought the release of Quik’s
fifth album, Balance & Options,
which was led by the party jam “Pitchin On A Party.” After
the release of Balance & Options,
DJ Quik felt the pain of tragedy as his friend and protégé’ Mausberg was
murdered in the streets of Compton. This issue was addressed on the song “50
Ways” off of his sixth release, Under The
After his seventh release, Trauma, Legal troubles caught up with DJ Quik and he ended up
serving several months in jail for allegedly pulling a gun during a family
dispute. Released from jail, Quik teamed up with his old friend AMG to form The
Fixxers and the two prepared their group album, Midnight Life. The group disbanded after the album was leaked
online however Quik kept himself busy by mixing and producing for Snoop Dogg’s
album Ego Trippin’.
Now back in the game, DJ Quik has teamed with West Coast
veteran Kurupt for a duo album called Blaqkout
to be released this spring. The producer/artist recently invited AllHipHop.com
out to his monthly showcase “Quik’s Groove” which is held at the end of every
month at The Key Club in West Hollywood, to talk about his new moves and what
the future holds for him.
Your fans haven’t heard from you in a while. Tell everybody what you’ve been up
to these past few years?
DJ Quik: I’ve
been producing. For the last year I’ve been working with Snoop Dogg and Teddy
Riley. Last summer me and Kurupt went in the studio and did an album together.
We are about to put that out through Universal/Fontana. It’s called Blaqkout and we are ready to drop it on
What made you decide to do this collaboration with Kurupt as your first move
back since your Trauma album?
DJ Quik: My first
move before I do a solo album? I guess because I am getting out of the artist
thing, for me. I could easily just do records for myself but it isn’t fun if I
don’t at least try to unite and unify the West Coast since we are having so
much downtime and not in tune with Atlanta music. That’s all
I’ve been hearing, stuff like, “You guys need to do some crunk music,” or
whatever. We can’t do that! I tried to do that with AMG [as The Fixxers] and
that sh**t got mixed reviews. So I can’t please
everybody. I am just about me now. If people like it, then cool. If they don’t,
then f**k ‘em!
What was it like working with Kurupt for this new Blaqkout album? Was the chemistry there?
DJ Quik: Kurupt
is magic. He’s always been a dope lyricist but it’s been hard to get him with
people that will take him seriously and write records with him and for him
– as opposed to just giving him a beat. You can give him a beat and he’ll
bust over a beat because he’s a freestyle artist but we tailor-made this record
to his style and my style. It’s a mixture of his Philadelphia style and my
Compton style and we did a record that just made f**kin’ sense. It goes over
smooth. It’s like a shot of Patron, ya dig?
when is the album coming out?
DJ Quik: April 28th.
We are getting the samples cleared and then it will be ready to go.
What’s next for you after this Blaqkout album?
DJ Quik: My own
album! I am going to go ahead and do DJ Quik. That’s going to come around
Christmas time. We are going to go do the Blaqkout Tour and have fun during the
summer. We are going to wild out on stage.
You are working with Snoop Dogg and Teddy Riley as a production unit. What are
you guys working on?
DJ Quik: Snoop
started this company called QDT. We produce records and write songs for other
cats that don’t have access to great producers or songwriters. We are trying to
be a medium between them and the record company. Teddy has been writing for The
Pussycat Dolls and other people at Interscope. Snoop has been writing for some
of his groups, and I’ve been storing tracks for them when it’s time to go
full-fledged with it.
DJ Quik “Tonite”
there any artists that you are working with to put out right now?
DJ Quik: My band,
The O Boyz. They come from Oakland, California. They are really talented kids
that really get it in. The drummer is Q, the keyboardist is Lynette, the
guitarist is Greg, and the bass player is Marcus. These guys really love music.
They are young but they were born in to music so it’s real easy for them to
play whatever we do.
Are they signed to the label that you have with Universal/Fontana?
DJ Quik: I am
actually going to get them their own deal. Signing somebody is not always the
best option. People go around saying, “I signed so-and-so” and then they to go
and get a release because nothing happens. I am going to keep the group free
but they know that my loyalties lie with them. I am going to do what is best
for them, even if that means letting them sign with somebody else.
DJ Quik “Pitchin
On a Party” Video
You stated earlier about the West Coast having downtime right now…
Everybody says it’s dormant even
though Dr. Dre, Eminem and 50 Cent have a number one song on the radio right
now. People are still like, “Y’all need to do Atlanta music! Do Atlanta music!”
Who are some young artists from the West Coast that DJ Quik would tell the rest
of the world to look out for?
DJ Quik: Problem,
a young cat from Compton, is dope. Jay Rock is blowing up right now. He’s
signed to Warner Bros. and he has this collaboration song with Lil Wayne and
Will.I.Am called “All My Life.” Bad Lucc from Watts is funky. Those are my
favorite three right now that are up-in-coming from
the West Coast.
a veteran, what is your take on the music industry right now?
DJ Quik: I’m
watching it in charts and graphs. Record sales are down 40% over the last three
years and it’s a steady progression downward. It’s on life support. Our
industry is about to be over. I’m about to do a career change soon because I
need to keep my standards of living up. I can’t do music for welfare fees.
Truth Hurts f/ Rakim “Addictive”
Video (Produced by DJ Quik)
What are you going to do then?
DJ Quik: I am
going to do whatever I want to do. I have options. I can act. I can do whatever
I want – I’m good. I’m not afraid. This is just machismo that’s talking
because of the alcohol that I’m drinking right now. I’m pretty confident that
that I can have fun. I have such a great support group. Who wouldn’t want to
have people like Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Xzibit and more of your other
favorite rappers to have your back? I even have actors like Chris Rock and Tony
Rock – these people have my back. If I want to do a song with someone, I
can just call them. Will Smith, whoever – I have connections. I’m good.
You seem to be in a happier place right now. I remember a few years back, you
had a vibe of bitterness about you. I even saw you walk off stage cursing out
the soundman and other people at a Powerhouse concert.
DJ Quik: Oh you
were there? Yes I was bitter. I had just lost Mausberg and I got in to a bad
crash on my motorcycle. I had a hole in my hip! Who can go through all of that
and just be like, “Throw your hands in the air!” My hip is bleeding and my
favorite rapper and best friend is dead – still warm in his casket. How
can you do all of that with a straight face? It was a bad time for me to be out
in public. I was bitter, so I took a break and the industry moved on without me
– It is what it is. Because I am a forward thinker, I went and did some
new creative music. You can’t f**k with me dog! I am a Pro-Tools guru. I buy
all of the latest plug-ins, equipment and technology. I’m a nerd with that! I’m
going to spend my last dollar on that stuff. If someone asks me, “What are you
going to do with the last money that you have in the industry? Are you going to
buy stocks and bonds or equipment?” I’ll be like, “N***a, I’m going right to West
L.A. Music to buy the new hottest sh*t and that sh*t is going to make me ten
times the money that I spent on it.” Thank God for my knowledge. I’m a genius
and it’s the best thing ever.
DJ Quik “Born & Raised in
What ended up happening to The Fixxers group that you had with AMG?
DJ Quik: I love
AMG to death but it got hectic because it was such a good situation and some
people that have been living real badly for years to getting a deal with
Interscope – it might’ve been too much for them to handle. People were coming
in and being leeches to us – too much bad influence was infiltrating the
situation. There was this guy that took our CD and posted it online under my
name and Myspace. I would never do that! First off, it’s the intellectual
property of Interscope. You don’t do that! That’s just retarded. This guy did
it just to get money and he ended up becoming a substance abuser and a
crack-head. His name is Hudson Baxter. He’s a cluck-head running around with
Bobby Brown right now trying to be security. He’s on borrowed time. I’m not
going to do anything to him because I don’t want to go back to jail – but
f**k him in his motherf**kin’ booty-hole – he’s a b***h!