interview QUIK & AMG (THE FIXXERS)   (March 2007) | Interview By: Lil Jay

As promised, we are bringing you an exclusive with The Fixxers today. New names, same story, so you can miss them with an introduction. America's most complete artist, Quik, (formerly known as DJ Quik) and his partner in crime, AMG, reached out to Dubcnn for their first interview under their new collective.

AMG gets into the upcoming Fixxers album entitled "Midnight Life" and reveals a few details, while Quik speaks about the changes in his new position and why he decided to form a group. AMG also mentions his solo project "Rum & Coke" and tells us when and in which form we can expect it. Quik then takes his time to review his last solo effort "Trauma", and explains what went wrong with it.

As ever, you can read and listen to this exclusive interview and we urge you to leave feedback on our forums or email them to liljay@dubcnn.com.

Interview was done in March 2007

Questions Asked By: Lil Jay

Quik Gave Dubcnn A Shoutout! Check That Here

Full Audio Interview Here


Dubcnn: AMG, what's going on? You're back with Dubcnn for another interview...

AMG: Oh fa sho, I mean it's all good!

Dubcnn: So you're working with Quik on The Fixxers project...

AMG: Yes sir, it's all work. Having fun, getting some beats done, making some hot songs. It's probably like another month till it's finished.

Dubcnn: What happened to the "Rum & Coke" album? You pushed it back to make way for The Fixxers?

AMG: I may release that independently. The Fixxers is gonna be a major situation, we're in the midst of that right now. I might just do "Rum & Coke" as a mixtape or an underground album or something like that. Probably to hit the streets with, but it's still coming.

Dubcnn: So talk about the "Midnight Life" album. Take us on a journey through the album!

AMG: Damn, a journey! It's not even halfway done yet! But so far, we got the single bubbling right now. Quik just did a record. We're probably gonna do 3 records each by ourself on the record, and another 6 to 8 together with some other features on there. Everything is up in the air right now, but we got Yung Joc and a couple of other artists get down with us on the record. You know we try to touch basis all over the country. Hit the South, hit the East, get some West Coast legends.

Dubcnn: So it's mostly gonna be you and Quik?

AMG: Pretty much, we're just gonna do a couple songs by ourself. I got one song called "Worldwide Aim". And I think he just did a song last night, I don't even know the title of it. But he did one solo record just to mix it up a little bit, to give something to our fans. And I think the special thing is gonna be that we're finally doing a project together fully. We're both on the tracks, they get to hear more than one or two songs. And I can tell you this honestly, every song that we've been doing is getting better and better. So even from "Can You Werk Wit Dat" to whatever is gonna be the last song, I know it's all gonna be quality and it's gonna be hot. And that's no lie! I mean we're vets, we know how to make records.

Dubcnn: The lead single is getting all types of feedback. What do you think is the reason for that?

AMG: The reason? Oh man, I can't say. That's just the record. I know people been stuck on what we've been doing for so long. We could do a whole full fledged West Coast album, but I don't know how people gonna reflect to that. We're really trying to reach out and get back to the new thing of Hip Hop and what's going on now. We don't wanna be old dudes making the same old type of songs. Just something fresh and new. I came up with the track to make sure that it reaches everybody.

Dubcnn: Yeah cause the production is kinda different from what we're used to from you and Quik, and you kinda switched up your flows!

AMG: Umm, well you know, you gotta get in where you fit in man. It ain't like we can exactly make the type of records that we used to make and it's gonna work all across the board. We're trying to reach out where everybody can get into it. We need some Atlanta fans, Miami fans, North Carolina fans, Detroit fans. It's been a long time since everybody really got into the records that we've been doing. You got to adapt with the times!

It's just a feel thing man, whatever feels good. You know, that's about it. As for the "Midnight Life" album and where that comes from, I'm a nocturnal so I usually start working at around midnight. When it gets dark, the phone is not ringing, ain't nobody really coming around. Whatever feels good I keep and I play it for a few people and see how they like it. That's how we vibe all the tracks, the tracks get vibed out until we decide to put some words on them.

Dubcnn: So The Fixxers project is gonna be released through your Dirty West imprint, right?

AMG: Yes sir, the beauty of this is that we can take this project anywhere. We can just shop this shit around and get the best thing for it. It's not a Quik album, it's not a AMG album, it's The Fixxers album. That's the good thing.

Dubcnn: How do you feel you've progressed since your last album, especially now that you're in a group? I'm sure there's some changes for you.

AMG: Oh yeah, but a lot of stuff that I put out was around from the last 3 or 4 years before that. I'm just always trying some new shit out. Progress is the key to the business, you gotta be progressive. You gotta go forward, you gotta make things happen and keep it hot. I always make different type of beats anyway, I'm so happy you got to hear one. My thing never changes, I got all kind of styles and flows, I just adapt to what's going on.

Dubcnn: But why back in the days rappers put out what they wanted as their first single, but nowadays it has to sound appropriate to what's out at the moment?

AMG: No that's not true, because when we came out Gangsta Rap was out. So we was doing that type of sound, it just so happened that this was the sound of that time, you know what I mean?

Dubcnn: So Quik....how do you look back at "Trauma" today, one and a half years later. Is it still the dopest album that you've ever done?

Quik: "Trauma"? The funny thing about it now is that "Trauma" to me is a better album now, I'm not being funny, it's a better album now. Especially if you listened to the Instrumental album of it. That music is so fucking hard, it's too far advanced. Then I go back and listen to the lyrics and the delivery. Even I was going through some shit, I still delivered the fuck outta them lyrics. It's just hot! You can't front on "Trauma", and if you do, you hating! It's a hot record.

Dubcnn: In our last interview you mentioned your previous albums and your disappointments because they weren't set up right and released prematurely. Did everything go right with "Trauma" and after it came out?

Quik: Well for me, yeah. I mean it was an independent record, so if it would have sold 5,000 units, that's cool. I made money after 28,000 records sold, and we moved 24,000 records the first week. Ultimately it sold about 81,000 records, so why should I complain? And I had records that were commercial successes before that one with independent record companies and they went platinum, and I wasn't eating right. You understand what I'm saying? It's not complicated at all.

Dubcnn: But one thing though, you didn't keep your word on two things. First thing is, there was no visual for Fandango like you promised. What happened?

Quik: Yeah yeah, ok. Yeah yeah, you got that. What's the other one?

Dubcnn: Second thing is, you said "watch me win a Grammy for Trauma". The music was definitely some Grammy award type shit, but it looks like it didnt take off like you wanted. Cause shortly after that the Instrumental album came out, then the "House Of Blues" album came out. It seemed like you kinda moved on with other things.

Quik: Right. Shit happens man. It was what it was. You can't force nobody to go out and buy your record. You just do the best and you hope for the best. So I didn't win a Grammy, but I'm not mad about that. Because people like Martin Scorsese, who directed The Godfather, it took him 30 years to win an Oscar. But he finally got it just recently. So if I pattern my greatest success by his and if I don't win a Grammy in the next 5 years it won't stress me out, cause I'm sure probably sometime after that I will.

Dubcnn: You were in jail for a while. Do you wanna talk about your time in there?

Quik: What do you want to ask about it?

Dubcnn: I mean I'm sure it wasn't easy to leave the music and your business alone during all that time?

Quik: Yeah, not at all. It wasn't easy.

Dubcnn: Did you go through a learning process during that time?

Quik: In jail? What did I learn in jail? I learned how to eat differently in jail. I had to get used to not having salt and pepper. I had to get used to weird food. I had to get used to crazy people, emotional people. I had to get used to discipline. Like, big deal, it's over. It was a negative experience that turned out positive results. Actually in a positive way, cause it made the music better.

Dubcnn: So The Fixxers is like a new beginning with familar names. Let me ask you this: You were always known as the one man band, so why form a group after all these years?

Quik: Umm, I can't do it all by myself. No one can. You need a team to do it and to be successful at it. We just want more success. And you know how it is, two heads are better than one. I mean Kobe Bryant can't carry the Lakers all by himself, can he? Honestly, even if he gets 60 points a night, can he really do it by himself? No.

Actually, it's more fun. I don't have to do all of the thinking. To work with other people that think differently sometimes, that's even better. I mean AMG has always been his own producer. I heard "Jiggable Pie" on Power 106 about an hour ago, and it sounded so much better than the records that came on afterwards. I mean we definitely have a sound. We just signed this young producer named Pop Tracks, and he's giving us some crazy brilliant records. That's another thing I never did before, have I ever signed any producers? No. Things are happening man.

Dubcnn: So you knew from the start that it would be either AMG or nobody else?

Quik: Did I know that? No, I didn't actually. It just kinda happened that way. It's the way the cards fell. Most of the shit you plan as well as you can, but you still have to leave those options open for uncertain things. You gotta let it happen, because it we can all predict what's gonna happen, everybody that goes to Las Vegas will be rich. It's a lot of chances and still a lot of uncertainty, and you gotta be willing to take your losses as well as your wins. It's what it is, we're level headed real people.

Dubcnn: Is it easy to share a record and make it just as personal as something like "Trauma"?

Quik: No, actually it's complicated because sometimes you don't wanna let go of yourself as much as you would like to. You don't wanna show that ability around anybody. It's like producing on a toilet.... Yeah yeah, it's not the same thing. But, when you don't have trauma in your life, you don't have to do it. You just have fun and live. Look look man, it's been years since I have fun. I say seven, since Arista. I ain't had fun since after Arista. Doing it my way. But now it's fun again. Just enjoy the fact that you see that we're out here having fun. We're bringing our popularity back and we're doing the right things. We're doing business moves. This is not about being as one-sided as producing the music and leaving it there. We're doing a bunch of things right now, and that's what's dope! I'm doing things I hadn't done before, as a business man as well as an artist. And I learned to control my emotions. That's what jail thought me if you wanna know anything. I gotta control my emotions! You can't share no love with nobody that don't love you. Go get your money man and have fun!

The West Coast is known for having targery artists. They don't look mainstream, they don't look like something everybody aggrevate to. They just look regional. That's what the history of West Coast rap is, outside of the Snoops, the Games, the Ice Cubes, and the other people that gone big and are more national. Well us personally, we're not like that. We're cut from a different cloth. We're more nationwide, just look at my discography. If I wasn't more appreciative as a producer, I wouldn't have got all them gigs to work with Janet Jackson, to work with Jay-Z. I wouldn't have got them if I was just a regional dude and somebody that only sold 5,000 records out the trunk of his car, be that ghetto superstar and that's it. It's because we're doing bigger things and now we're starting to get accepted. This is our year!

Dubcnn: "Trauma" had a lot of anger in the music, you know tracks like "Till Jesus Comes" and "Catch 22". Are you going back to the feel-good-and-have-a-party Quik on that album?

Quik: No, I'm going different, this is something else. Artists are supposed to evolve, at least I think. If you listen to "Can You Werk Wit Dat", we're having fun with everybody. From 8 year olds to 80 year olds, I'm not excluding nobody with anger. And who wants to hear anger in records anyway anymore? It's done. I did all my kicking and screaming, and it got me an album without a video. I trusted the wrong people. I ain't gonna tell anybody, but I trusted the wrong people with my business and they fucked up, and it's okay. Because I forgive them and we move on. It's what it is. But I know not to make the same mistakes twice.

Dubcnn: Maybe some of the business went wrong, but as far as the music, it was one of your best, if not your best album!

Quik: Yeah!

Dubcnn: So the anger paid off!

Quik: No it didn't pay off! The anger landed me in jail! So how's that paying off?

Dubcnn: As far
as the music?

Quik: As far as the music... the music was a little on the goth side, a little dark, a little all miner. I was reading an interview recently that Ice-T did in The Source. And he was talking about how he hates these Gangsta Rap lyrics over these happy ass beats. When he said that I was like 'Wow!', it's good to know that even Ice-T, who is sometimes far removed from Hip Hop, who's getting his money in television and film and other things, to be even still conscious and having his finger on the post of what's going on in Rap music. And he was a 100% right. And that's one thing I never wanted to do. I want the music to always complement the lyrics. We do happy music for happy lyrics, bad music for bad lyrics. Unfortunately with "Trauma", I was coming from court to the recording studio. It just happened that I had to go to court and be threatened with 10 years in prison, and then go to the studio a couple of hours later and make beautiful music. Ain't it paradox man.

Admit it Jay, that shit is impossible, isn't it? I tried to do the impossible. I didn't get recognition. For me it was impossible, cause I had too many things playing against me to win. I don't even think I got acknowledged by the Grammy people because of how their politics are. I don't think that the Grammy people acknowledge anybody that flies a little bit under their radar. I think that records have to have some sort of commercial success to be acknowledged by the Grammy people. Look look look, why is that important Jay?


Quik Gave Dubcnn A Shoutout! Check That Here

Full Audio Interview Here




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