Real Name: David Martin Blake
D.O.B.: 18th January 1970 Compton, California
Label: Mad Science/Koch Records
He grew up without a father and moved out of his mother’s home [436 W. Spruce Street, Compton] when he was only 17. He spelled his name without the “C” because, being a member of the Compton Blood set Tree Top Pirus he didn’t want to offend anybody. In gang culture “ck” together would mean ‘Crip Killer’. It was always thought that he had 8 sisters, but in a March 2007 interview he stated that he only had one, explaining that Profile Records at the time had suggested to add it to his background. He began selling homemade mixtapes (like The Red Tape, 1987) after he received a turntable for his 9th grade graduation and then began doing shows DJing around Southern California. He signed to Profile Records in the summer of 1990, reportedly as the label’s first six figure signee. Not only could he write his own songs, he could produce as well.
His début album, Quik Is the Name was led by the success of two top 20 R&B singles, “Tonite” and “Born and Raised in Compton.” The album ended up reaching 10th on the album charts and being certified Platinum by the RIAA. None of his successive albums reached the success of his début, though they have been well received, particularly his 1998 release “Rhythm-al-ism”. On “Safe + Sound” appears “Dollaz + Sense,” which was a diss track to Compton rapper and member of the rival Tragniew Park Compton Crips, MC Eiht. The two would make several threats and diss tracks to each other in the mid 1990’s. Today, Quik is on good terms with MC Eiht. Quik also beefed with House of Pain lead MC, Everlast. On the Menace II Society (soundtrack), Quik dissed Everlast in his verse on “Can’t Fuck Wit A Nigga”.
He was chiefly inspired by funk and soul artists, such as Roger Troutman (who even taught him the use of the talkbox, which became a trademark for Quik’s sound throughout his career) and George Clinton.
Though he is only credited for producing “Heartz of Men” on Tupac’s acclaimed All Eyez On Me (in the credits he used his real name, David Blake, because under contract Profile did not allow him to use his stage name) he also did additional production and mixed half the album. In 2002, he produced Truth Hurts’ Top 10 pop hit “Addictive”. Quik used an uncleared Hindi sample on the record, and the copyright holders eventually filed a $500 million dollar lawsuit against Truth Hurts’ label, Aftermath Entertainment. Quik also produced and appeared on another track on Truth Hurts’ début LP, Truthfully Speaking, entitled I’m Not Really Lookin. Quik also produced the 2Pac song “Late Night” on the 2002 Better Dayz, which was originally done in the mid 1990’s featuring AMG instead of the Outlawz.
Quik faced personal and professional tragedy when his close friend and protégé Mausberg was murdered on the 4th of July, 2000. Mausberg was robbed in the street and left for dead with gunshots to the chest. This was compounded by the death of his best friend Daryl Reed soon after.
After the lacklustre sales of his fifth album, Balance & Options released in 2000, he was dropped by Arista Records which in 1998 had bought Profile Records. In 2002 he released Under Tha Influence under Ark 21 Records which also sold poorly. In September 2005, DJ Quik released his first independent album on his own new label, Mad Science Recordings. The album is titled Trauma and reflects the turmoil in the producer’s life over the past few years. In recent years he has worked with a 74 piece orchestra during a collaboration with Marcus Miller while working on the score to the movie “Head of State”.
On June 28, 2006, DJ Quik began a five-month stint in jail for assaulting his sister. The incident occurred in 2003 when he allegedly pulled a gun during a family argument, according to police reports. DJ Quik was released early in October 2006 and began working on a DJ Quik & AMG collaboration album.
In preparation for the upcoming collaboration, which was expected for release in late 2007, DJ Quik and AMG formed the group: The Fixxers. Along with the formation of the duo, he dropped the “DJ” from his name for the upcoming album and rapped as “Quik”. In March 2007 they had signed a single deal with Interscope Records for the release of their album “Midnight Life” and promoted it with “Can You Werk Wit Dat?” However, the album was scrapped due to unauthorized actions by business partners who illegally put it up for sale on the internet in December of 2007. The album was then spread across the internet as a bootleg. In February 2008, Quik finished up mixing and producing for Snoop Dogg’s new record Ego Trippin. In the process of working with Snoop Dogg, a production group called QDT was formed. It stands for Quik-Dogg-Teddy and consists of DJ Quik, Snoop Dogg and Teddy Riley. It was also recently revealed that a collaboration album with Tha Dogg Pound member, Kurupt, is in the works and they have recorded one track so far.
The Fader wrote an article recently on the new Fixxers duo project for Quik:
Jail terms and funerals: the back-story of any classic rap album—especially the left-coast, gang-related kind—often seems to have one of these as its starting point. In this case the record is The Midnight Life, the latest offering from the infamous rapper/producer Quik, conceived in partnership with long-time collaborator rapper AMG under the collective name the Fixxers. The story actually begins with one of each. “One of our older comrades passed away last year,” explains AMG. “I seen Quik at the funeral and I ain’t really talked to him in a minute, you know people fade in and out and shit. We got to talking, like ‘I got some shit, you got some shit, so…’ we started mashin’ out.”
In the midst of all that shit, Quik asked his erstwhile partner to go out on tour with him; the preparations for the road trip renewed ties from gangsta rap’s golden era, when AMG guested on Quik’s platinum début album Quik is the Name and his productions for mutual friends 2nd II None and Penthouse Players Clique. The two have actually been allies even longer, since before either was signed, putting out LA underground classics like The Red Tape, which in turn led to Quik’s deal with Profile records. The reunion, however, proved to be short-lived, as Quik was jailed in summer 2006 on a two-year-old assault charge. Sentenced to 45 days in 2003 when he allegedly threatened his sister at gun-point during a heated argument, Quik never showed up to serve his time and though the wheels of justice turn extra slow in LA’s hazy atmosphere, when they eventually caught up to him, 45 days had become 150.
STRAIGHT OUTTA CPT
Published: February 12th, 2009
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 Influence.
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.
AllHipHop.com: 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 the world.
AllHipHop.com: 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!
AllHipHop.com: 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?
AllHipHop.com: So when is the album coming out?
DJ Quik: April 28th. We are getting the samples cleared and then it will be ready to go.
AllHipHop.com: 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.
AllHipHop.com: 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.
AllHipHop.com: Are 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.
AllHipHop.com: 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.
AllHipHop.com: You stated earlier about the West Coast having downtime right now…
DJ Quik: 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!”
AllHipHop.com: 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.
AllHipHop.com: As 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.
AllHipHop.com: 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.
AllHipHop.com: 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.
AllHipHop.com: 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!
- 1991 Quik Is the Name (Platinum)
- 1992 Way 2 Fonky (Gold)
- 1995 Safe + Sound (Gold)
- 1998 Rhythm-al-ism (Gold)
- 2000 Balance & Options
- 2002 Under tha Influence (Chart: 27)
- 2005 Trauma (Chart: 43)
- 2008 Midnite Life (as The Fixxers with AMG)
- 2009 Blaqkout (with Kurupt)