What DO I like?

You know?
After how I went in on KRS-ONE, Jay Z, my ongoing discussions of hip hop in general, and my less than a handful of album reviews, I could imagine it being difficult for one to put a finger on just what in the hell in hip hop I DO like.
I mean, it goes without saying that my loyalties lie in the 90s as far as this hip hop shit goes, perusal of what falls under the above links will tell one that... On an escape from my desk for 10-15ish minutes to test this bluetooth headset I have, I walked around and scrolled through the music in my phone.
It hit me that my ringtone is a DJ Quik song, "Quik's Groove V" from 2000's Balance and Options. Scrolling through, I realized how much of (meaning damn near most of) the music contained in the phone for random listening at various times were actually Quik songs.
[Phlip note - I REALLY should have written this blog Monday, on his birthday... Oh well]
It says here that Quik's first album came out in 1991 -- a fact that I am well aware of because my 11 year-old ass had it on Cassette at the time -- and 6 other solo albums along with 2 collaborative efforts in the years since. With one album being said to come out this year, that is a total of 10 releases over 20 years, if we count 1991, which I do... Excepting that his first 2 albums dropped in consecutive years, as will these last two, his career adheres to the not-inundating-the-market-with-rushed-shit approach of releasing on average of every other year.

Compared to one of his considerable abilities as a rapper/storyteller and even MORE impressive skillset as a producer, one might think that David Blake might have a larger body of work, and those suspicions would be only natural. One must take a step back and look at the work he has done with/for others before chiding him for the comparatively low amount of output, compared to other bog-name producers. My count serves it as 156 songs produced on albums other than his own as credited. 'As credited' is worth mentioning because word has it that Quik is the type to not charge some certain people for his beats, even going as far as to not even be credited as "DJ Quik" on the liner notes, instead using his Gov't Name.
[Phlip note - check your notes on 2Pac's All Eyez on Me when you get a chance]

On the other side of this, while we have seen some acts come from an area of misplaced potential, to WILD critical acclaim and back in that little hole of just plain not-good music.
[Phlip note - *cough*Common*cough*]
Through this, from beginning to end, Quik's music has been fucking consistent. I will be 100% honest with you, I laughed all the way through Safe & Sound with him going in on MC Eiht ("Shall I continue E-I-H-T 'cause the 'G' ain't in you"). Furthermore, there is ONE song Chingy has ever been on that I have enjoyed in my life. That was "Get Down" from Quik's 2005 album Trauma.
More than just a rapper or a rapper/producer, Quik is a MUSIC maker, seriously. One can make a claim to this on any producer's behalf, but when one stops to look at EVERY one of his albums -- except for one -- you get a break in the action for one of his jazzy Quik's Grooves. He credits himself by way of titling of these songs with 7, but I have all the albums and there are only 6, dammit. I know there wasn't one on Rhythm-al-ism and found it peculiar when I noticed that we went from III on Safe & Sound to V on Balance & Options. That is not being logged as a complaint, just advising that while I might have been born last night, I stayed up all night dammit.

What Quik's rate of work tells me is that, while he may be making enough money to sustain himself nicely and damned comfortably with his music, he is not whoring himself out to the money. What we have NOT seen from him is bullshit. Maintaining a consistently productive career with the quality of output, largely fathering the 'G-Funk' style that Dr. Dre took and Snoop whored out. Let us also not forget who was the first to PROPERLY use Roger Troutman's talkbox (known these days as 'AutoTune'), actually taught the craft by the master himself. Let us ALSO not forget to notice how much time Quik spent around Death Row and then at aftermath, refusing to take credit for songs he HAD to have produced and engineered, compounded with Dr Dre's rumored paying musicians to not get in the liner notes.
You read that right, I am willing to bet that Quik took SOME cash to maintain the low profile he has always had. I've yet to hear of him or his weed carriers in any shit where he was involved, apart for him getting sent up for pistol whipping his sister when she extorted him.

With the exception of the aforementioned (and allegedly since-quashed) issue with MC both'a y'all actin like some bitches right now Eiht, Quik has maintained a decently low profile. Commendably so when one considers that some coon calling himself Waka Flocka Flames was shot recently.

I guess I could still consider this drop a happy birthday to someone I have only spoken to on MySpace (if that was really him on the other side, lol) and it would still count, since it has only been 2 days since the actual day. Not like anyone was actually CELEBRATING MLK day outside of going to some dinky-assed parade on the black side of town and then proceeding to do the opposite of the man's intentions. This blog is not about that, though.

I know I have thrown some of you off with my talk of someone you might have been surprised to know I held such high regards for.
I guess that is why this is MY blog, no?
Seriously, if you've not given DJ Quik a real chance by now, you're doing yourself a grand disservice.


Tony Grands said…
Good ass drop, & great tribute. I'm sure he'd be phlattered & honored. Ha.
When 'Quik Is The Name' came out, I was in 9th grade, riding to private school with a couple of uppity dipshit wanna-be's, & they rode Quik's sack so tough. In fact, in hindsight, halfway through the year, they became "bloods"...never even thought about that. Influence is a mutha.

David Blake is definitely a musician, going as far as to denounce the lifestyle he glamourized on his first 2 releases.

He's always came off to me as a nozzle, but most truly talented people tend to have that aura about them. It took me until 'Safe + Sound' to really listen to him, because I was on east coast rap so incessantly, anything from out this way made me cringe, except for Cube. After jr high, I didn't do Cali rap until the 11th grade, when 'Doggystyle' & 'The Chronic' dropped.

It's good to see Quik get props, all the way on the other side of the country. You should send him a link to his myspace or something, even though I know you neglect your account these days. Don't feel bad. I don't even have one, although I'm on myspace, go figure.

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