DJ QUIK (September 2005) | Interview
By: Lil Jay for Westcoast2k|
Westcoask2k did it again! We hooked
up with America's most complete artist, DJ Quik, for another round. In this exclusive
hour long in depth interview, Quik lets it all out. He's known as the humble producer
helping everybody out, but things have changed. The entire list of discussed topics
in this interview is too long to list, but Quik spoke on everything, mainly his
new album "Trauma."
to DJ Quik's Drop for Westcoast2k ]
message from DJ Quik to all his fans ]
Westcoast2k: In the last interview you said that the album would be out in March.
What made you put the album on hold and drop the mixtape inbetween?
Quik: Well it just came out that way. I mean the album was done in like January,
and we thought it was gonna come out in March, because it was gonna come out through
Warner Brothers, but I changed labels. So I got off Warner Bros., I was doing
like a A&R deal over there, and got a distribution deal with Fontana. And
that was the hold up. So I did the mixtape to keep it hot.
Did you have that mixture of new and old songs to re-introduce your old hits to
your younger audience that may not be familiar with those songs?
Quik: That's exactly why I did it. To show the continuity, like you said, for
all the new fans that don't know my old music, I put the old songs for them. But
for my die-hard fans I put the new stuff on there. I guess I'm trying to please
everybody. But my mixtape, I did it like an album. I didn't do my mixtape just
as a collective of songs. Some of those records I re-rapped them. I did the lyrics
over and took lyrics from other songs and edited them to others. A lot of thought
and editing and mastering went into that CD. That mixtape is done just like an
album would be done. It wasn't done like some bullshit. It wasn't done on a computer
in a living room or in somebody's apartment. It was done in a real studio, and
it took me like $35.000 to $40.000 to do it, but to me it was worth it. What you
thought of the new songs?
Westcoast2k: "The Maze" was
the shit to me.
DJ Quik: Thank you. Yeah, "The Maze" that's
how I feel. What I'm saying is the truth. I mean, if you look at the news. When
did they catch Biggie's and 2Pac's murderers? When did they catch Jam Master Jay's
murderer? Big L? When did they catch their murderers? When did they find Soulja
Slim's murderer? It's like if you kill a rapper you'll never get caught. And yeah,
I'm a rapper. In other words I'm saying that I'm not afraid to die for what I
believe in. I love this shit, I do this shit. And I'm hot at it. And that's also
a call to stop killing. It's unnecessary. It's like why? Why put a void in somebody
else's life because you're jealous of this one person. You gotta think about that
person's family. Motherfuckers ruin a whole family when they kill one person in
their family. You take their happiness from them, and that sucks. And it seems
like in Hip Hop motherfuckers are here to take people's happiness. That's stupid.
Westcoast2k: With you originally being a DJ, what's your view on
the current state of mixtapes and DJ's?
DJ Quik: It's not that bad to
me, honestly. I just think it's a little crowded. Back in the day it was more
personal, and it was much more talent oriented. Nowadays everybody got a mixtape,
and they are all done the same way and they all pretty much have the same sound.
They are all stars in the mixtape world. But it doesn't seem like it did when
we were doing what was called "underground tapes". It was the same thing,
but we called them undeground tapes. So I think it just seems crowded, but I ain't
mad about it.
Westcoast2k: On the "Trauma" mixtape you
had a line talking about mad rappers in Los Angeles and you said "I'm not
one of them, I'm just a son of one of them". Was that toward your father
or just generally?
DJ Quik: Yeah, there's a lot of mad rappers in L.A..
But what I was saying, if my mom's a mad rapper, that makes me a son of a bitch.
If my dad was a mad rapper, that makes me the son of a person who's talking to
people mad. Cause they used to call the term rap just talk, like "let me
rap to you". I mean in Hip Hop we all think of it as somebody spittin' and
bustin' in a cypher or whatever, but back in the day rap was just when you talked
to somebody. So if you think about it, my dad should be mad, cause he ain't seen
me blow up. He left when I was young. So I kinda shouted out toward him.
And yeah, there are too many fuckin mad rappers walking around in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles is like the home of broken dreams. A lot of motherfuckers failed and
didn't blow up, and now they're taking it out on everybody else and they just
walking around this motherfucker real depressed, like with a chip on they shoulders.
So it's disappointing sometimes to see people like that. I ain't naming no fuckers,
but it's just disgusting that they're wasting their time. Either put out a hot
fuckin' record or move on. That's how I feel about a mad rapper.
Westcoast2k: At the end of another track you said "L.A. sit down". Do
you have any hard feelings toward your city at the moment?
DJ Quik: No,
cause I'm tired of everybody saying "L.A. stand up!". Everytime at a
concert people be like "L.A. stand up, stand up!". Like when I do concerts,
you don't have to put your hands up right now. There's a lot of energy right now,
just rock back and forth, just sway. It's like, sit down, you can't stand up all
night. And the West Coast is already back, so I'm just tired when people do that
"Stand Up". They shout out they borough and they say stand up. And my
thing is, sit down, we already won. The West Coast is back. So relax now, have
a drink and talk to that bitch. Sit down instead of dancing and hollering in the
face all night if you wanna fuck.
It's real simple, hopefully I'm not
talking in idioms or I didn't go over anybody's head on my mixtape, but it was
meant to be comical too. Cause everybody says "L.A. stand up", I could
have said that and I would have sounded just like everybody else.
Westcoast2k: Earlier this year you had an important position at Warner Brothers.
What was the reason you parted ways with them?
DJ Quik: It was mutually,
but we left on a good note. I wasn't mad, I kinda didn't think I fit with what
I was doing. So I got out of that position. But I'm still a label executive, but
now I'm a owner. With my deal with Mad Science Recordings, through Fontana/Universal,
I have a opportunity to be a big label. This is my turn to be an executive. I'm
not mad at Warner Brothers, I love that label, and I love the people that I worked
with over there.
Westcoast2k: Did the fact that you DJed for Game
have anything to do with that?
DJ Quik: No, they actually liked that.
That was self-promotion, and it worked for everybody. I mean, who else with my
stature would go out and DJ for a upstart artist. I love Hip Hop, I love Rap music,
I love Gangsta Rap, I love Los Angeles, I love our scene and our culture. So that's
why I did it, to support a young dude from Compton, and help Dre. And at the same
time just put my face back out there, cause I'm coming with a stick of dynamite
on September 13th.
Westcoast2k: How was that experience? Being
up there and deal from a business point of view and oversee stuff from such a
DJ Quik: It was what everybody in my arena dreams of,
to be able to say that I got a great and high paying job at one of the most popular
record companys on the planet. It was like a dream the whole time. It was like
I worked my ass off, I got my chops up, I produced some fuckin' great records,
I helped out, my opinion mattered. It felt like being drafted by San Francisco
49ers, it's like going outta college right to the pro's. It was dope, it was the
best feeling in the world.
Westcoast2k: From the outside it seemed
that the whole thing was kept kinda low key, you know compared to the Jay-Z &
Def Jam situation.
DJ Quik: It wasn't really that low key though. We
announced it, we did press releases. But it was what it was. I did an A&R
job, my opinion counted and that was dope. You know Warner Bros. ain't throwing
my Warner Bros. business cards around and my Warner Bros. credit card. It was
a dope experience and it helped me get to the point to where I'm at now. I'm about
to be a very serious label owner, and I'll be able to put out anything that I
wanna put out, anytime I wanna put it out.
But you know what, I'll be
honest with you. Yeah, I do have some hard feelings about some of these motherfuckers
in Los Angeles with this Rap. I'm tired of being fucking politically correct.
I don't give a fuck about many of them. It's only a few of them that I like in
this fucking game. There's personable people and I dealt with them, but the little
ego maniacs, the ignorant motherfuckers that don't wanna respect all the time
and hard effort I done put into their shit, blood, sweat and tears, and went through
tragedy & trials to still make their records, those are the ones I'm saying
fuck you to. And I don't give a fuck about them, they know who they are. L.A.
sure got a whole lot of haters. That's what it is, the ones that know who I'm
talking about, the ones that don't respect me, I don't respect them niggas. Kiss
my motherfucking ass.
Westcoast2k: Is the "Trauma" album
title a reflection of what you went through in your life?
DJ Quik: Yup,
exactly. You ever seen when your homeboy get killed in your face, and see his
brain and lungs on your khakis, and he bleeds all on your T-Shirt. And after the
hospital you gotta drive to his mommas house to tell her that her son ain't never
coming home no more. How would that make you feel?
As for the music on there, I'm only hearing good reviews about it.
Quik: It's the dopest album I've ever done. It's better than "Quik Is The
Name", it's a classic. It's hot, it's a new sound. I got the best collaborations,
I got some real talented people. I made everybody sound the same, it's not like
Nate Dogg sounds better than Wyclef. It's not like that, it's a fuckin uniform
record. Every record goes into the next record the right way. It's like a movie,
it's not even like an album. It's real visual, you can see it and you can feel
it. It's recorded real well, I used a lot of real new equipment. And I worked
with some of the best musicians on the planet. So it's a unstoppable record, and
I look forward to send all these fuckin producers back to the drawing board. And
I'm the shit, I think I'm the best right now. Matter of fact, when you hear "Trauma",
you gonna think I'm the best too.
Westcoast2k: Did you produce
this album to try to appeal to a wider audience than you did with your previous
DJ Quik: No, I didn't. As a matter of fact, personally I think
that the albums that didn't go commercially big for me, were the ones that I tried
to record to appeal to a wider audience.
DJ Quik: I think it was more like "Balance & Options", I think
it was more like "Under Tha Influence". I wanted to cross over, I wanted
to be different. But I had a underground mind and mentality. And it didn't work.
Plus I was dealing with some bad business people at the same time, too. So I had
to stop and change my whole team. My thing was, it wasn't my fault that my albums
didn't sell that much in the past. It wasn't my fault, because the music was always
fuckin' innovative and cutting edge, and right there pushing the fuckin' envelope.
But it was just that I had bad teams and bad record companys. I was signed to
the worst record deal in the whole world. And Run DMC couldn't attach to that.
You know, Profile sucks. They were a great label when it came to marketing and
promotion and puttin shit out. They had the best people, like photographers or
A&R people. But when it came down to paying their artists, it's like we always
got the short end of the stick.
Westcoast2k: So musically, did
you continue the flow of your previous albums or did you head into a different
direction this time?
DJ Quik: You just have to hear it. This record is
just like every last of my albums that I've ever done, but it's also nothing like
any of them. It's totally different. It's all Quik, it sounds like me. It's West
Coast, some of it is East Coast. I did half of it in New York, half in L.A. and
I got this great hybrid sound. It's a multi-national sounding record. They will
love it in Guam, they will love it on the Fiji Islands, they will love the shit
in the Bronx, they will love the shit in fuckin Carson, they will love it in St.
Louis, they will love it in Atlanta, and they will love it in Miami. It's a fuckin'
Westcoast2k: Is this how you planned it to come out from the start or did you
have something different in mind?
DJ Quik: This record came out all by
itself Jay. I didn't wanna start it at first, because I was thinking I don't wanna
go through this bullshit again. And when I was recording it I was going through
a court case, I had a fucking felony court case that could have sent me away for
10 years that I was fighting. So, how can you go from listening to a judge threatening
to revoke your bail and fight your case from a fucking penetentiary and throw
you in jail for 10 years, to a recording studio and being like 'OK, let me just
de-program that, don't think about it, and let's make a record.' How can you do
that? That shit is hard to do!
So what I did was I didn't trip, I just
let the music take me, I let the music speak. So we just started writing how we
felt, music wise. I started working with my musicians and we came up with some
hot beats. And then what I really felt, I would pick up a pen and write to them.
Physically write, pencil and pen. I mean I still love that, cause I'm a poet and
I still need to see that shit in writing. Cause if it doesn't make sense while
you're reading it, while would you rap it? Some people claim to not be writers
and that they don't use paper, but then when you listen to their lyrics and delivery,
that shit sounds spastic a little bit and a little out of context. If it reads
well, then it sounds well. And that's how I feel.
you think there are any rappers alive that can do that, to not use any paper?
DJ Quik: Jay-Z is talented at not reading. He's talented at that, I give
him that. 2Pac was like that too, I give them that. I heard Biggie was like that
as well. They get that, those three, to me. But everybody else can't do that shit.
Westcoast2k: I don't know about Jay.
DJ Quik: You don't
think he's one of them?
Westcoast2k: I doubt it.
Have you seen him write? Cause I don't know. I mean, if you think about it, if
I have a sidekick or blackberry, I can write my lyrics in it and then memorize
them, and then when people come around I can say 'I freestyled it'. But I don't
know if Jay-Z writes shit down on paper. I'm sure that he probably did in the
beginning, I'm sure that he probably does write some things. But at the same time,
I don't know if all of it is off the head. I don't think anybody is that good,
to not write anything.
But the point I was trying to make about my album,
I did the intro to my album first, before I did anything. Cause I just got done
with Shawn Anthony's album, got done with the 2Pac song, the Jay-Z song, you know
so I just got done with those things. And I sat in the studio and I realized that
it's time to go in a new direction. So I started going shopping for music equipment
to see if there was anything new out there that nobody was using. And there's
nothing new, the playing field is level. So now, it's not about the sound that
you got, or the people and how tight they are and how they gonna help you with
it. It's about your level of creativity now. So I'm really focused on making my
creativity level higher. That's what happened when I did my intro to my album,
it just kinda fell together magically. And when it came together, it was so big,
and so great sounding to me. The album was done song by song, and they all fell
into the place that they were supposed to be. It was like painting a picture or
writing a book. It was like writing a book of my life and all the fucking bullshit
that I just been through. And it was just that, it was bullshit. And no human
being should go through the bullshit that I went through. I should be fucking
out of my mind. I should be in a rubber room, in a fucking crazy house beating
my head on a wall like blalalala. You know, I lost real good friends, I lost some
beautiful people in my life for nothing. Over jealousy and angry and envy and
drug use, and I don't wanna ever see that shit again.
Like I said, after
the intro was done and people all agreed, I took a consensus. I said 'Should I
do a new album?', and after people heard the intro they said, and this is a quote,
'If this is only the intro, I can't wait to hear what the album sounds like. I
look forward to it!' And that was the motivation to go ahead and do the record,
because the intro came out just that fucking good.
You're known for having tight intros. Both "Under Tha Influence" and
"Rhythmalism" had tight intros.
DJ Quik: "Under Tha Influence"?
No, no, no, it's nothing like "Under Tha Influence"! The "Rhythmalism"
one was dope, the Rock & Roll one. That's one of my dopest intros today, that's
like my dopest intro ever. It was like one of the only ones that I did. It was
real creative, it was Rock & Roll, but it was Funk. But this one right here
is Funk, it's sound effects, it's Rock & Roll, it's Jazz, it's orchestral,
it's like film score music, with a fucking totally dramatic vocal performance.
You gotta hear it!
Westcoast2k: Is there a specific thing that
you have gotten better at over the years?
DJ Quik: Yeah, the one thing
I've gotten better at is listening to myself rap, and liking me the way people
like me. I had to get out of myself and listen to how important my voice is. How
important the words that come out of my mouth are. When I was angry, I was saying
dumb shit! Cause I was so drunk and mad, I was saying dumb shit like 'I hope you
catch Aids', 'fuck your daugher', 'I'll kill you niggas'. That was dumb shit to
be saying. I was so mad and hurt because my best friend was dead. I was so mad
and hurt that I didn't really care what I was doing. And I think that helped to
subjugate my career too. I didn't know how to channel it.
But now, I've
gotten better at piano, I've gotten better at music theory, I've gotten better
at rapping, I've gotten better at being quiet. I've gotten better at not releasing
shit that's garbage, cause that's one thing I won't do anymore. I won't release
a record before it's ready, or I'll go burry it. So I've gotten better at business.
Matter of fact, my business has changed. My business is just as good as my music
now. I'm totally well-rounded, and I'll tell you why Jay. Because I'm left handed,
and I use the creative side of my mind. I've always been 100% on the creative
side. And for that I suffered, because I trusted shady people with my business.
I'd be like 'Here's the money, don't rob me, let's just keep making money'. And
then next thing you know motherfuckers was stealing from me. So I didn't realize
that it was because I was just so one sided. I was just about writing and making
music. And I did that shit great, but my business suffered because I wasn't using
the logical side of my brain.
Now Jay, I can throw with my right hand,
I can write with my right hand. I'm using both sides of my brain. I'm not just
a creative person no more, I'm a business person too. I'm doing both, and it's
not that hard. I watch Dre do it, I watch Jay-Z do it. It's not that fucking hard.
Matter of fact it's fun. Nobody can stop me now. I'm through the roof. This is
it, and it's not even about the new record. My mentality and my mind state right
now is what's gonna carry me for the rest of my life on this earth. And I'm not
gonna waste any more time bullshitting, I think every second is important. I don't
wanna sit back and feel the grass growing up under my feet, or watching my gray
hairs come in. I don't wanna sit up and do that, I wanna keep it moving right
now. I'm on my 2Pac burnout, that's what I call it. I'm doing my 2Pac after burners.
I wanna be on everybody's record, I wanna produce on everything, I wanna deal
with everybody, so I can leave a long dope ass discography in case anything happens
What I noticed on your recent songs, your flow is more agressive now. I think
the first time that I noticed was on your verse on "Loyal To The Game".
When you compare the newer songs to something like "I Don't Wanna Party Wit
U", or even songs on "Safe + Sound" you had a pretty laid back
flow back then. How come you switched that up?
DJ Quik: Well because
we got better microphones and I wanna be heard now, I don't wanna be just sitting
back there. But on this album I'm playing with my voice. I'm playing all of the
parameters of my voice and all of the directions that I can go, depending on how
much I output, volume wise. So I'm just having fun with that, like some records
I rap quite on, damn near to a whisper, like "Down Down Down" and "Do
I Love Her", and some records I rap real loud on, like "Tonite"
and new records from the new album like "Black Mercedes" or "Till
Jesus Comes". It's like I'm rapping in my high register, and I'm doing it
because everybody can't rap real loud, everybody don't sound right in their high
hit range register of their voice. I don't know anybody that sounds like me, I
don't know anybody that delivers like me. And it's not that I'm being conceded
or arrogant or nothing, it's just that I'm unique, I'm truly unique. And I want
that to be my point, I want people to look at that and say 'This dude is different.
We love Dre, we love Kanye, we love all these guys, but this dude has something
that they don't have. We can't put the finger on it, but we know that if we had
to bet on somebody to win the Grammy for 2006, we have to give it to Quik because
this album is multi-national sounding.' And it's not on purpose, it doesn't sound
contrived or fake. It just flows. You'll see.
It's gonna be the hottest
album of 2006, I guarantee it. And it took fast. All of my other albums took years
to do, they took years! Like 2 years for "Quik Is The Name", 1 year
and a half for "Way 2 Fonky", and like 3 or 4 years for "Safe +
Sound". Same with Rhythmalism, which was such a record that people are just
now trying to understand because it was a little bit ahead of its time. But this
record only took 5 months to do, and that's including the traveling, flying out,
doing the shit, producing it, making it the best I could and then coming home
and mixing it. It didn't even take that long, it was easy. I hate to say that,
it was just easy. It wasn't no stress. I didn't have to worry about the sophomore
jinx, and I didn't have to worry about people's opinions, or who I gotta get on
it. Let me get Missy just because she's hot, or let me get Pharrell because he's
hot. I didn't have to do that. And that's no disrespect to them, but I'm doing
this the original way.
And that's the way of making great records, not
to sell, not to make money. I did it because I love the music, and I'm relevant.
I'm fucking important. People keep stealing my music, people keep stealing my
style and they never say my name. I never get credited, I always go as the most
underrated producer. Well I don't feel like I'm underrated anymore, I feel like
now motherfuckers is gonna have to stand up and give me a standing ovation, they
gonna have to applaud me. They gonna have to celebrate DJ Quik, especially after
September the 13th.
Westcoast2k: That's like a totally different
DJ Quik: Well, I been humble my whole career, and look where it
got me. It got me underrated. I've been nice, I put people before me, I let people
go in front of me, and look where it put me. It put me in the back of the pile.
They always say nice guys finish last. And look what I did, I kept finishing fucking
last. I'm not a nice guy anymore, because nobody can do what I do production wise,
I'm the best at this shit. And now I'm gonna say my own praises since nobody else
Westcoast2k: I was surprised to see that there was no "Quik's
Groove" on the new album?
DJ Quik: I did! I did have a "Quik's
Groove" on the new album, but Jodeci came to the studio and they liked the
record and they sang, so it ended up being Jodeci's groove. It's still cool, you
know. So it's like "Quikstrumental" but featuring Jodeci.
Westcoast2k: Now it seems that the album is coming out with almost no promotion,
or has the potential for promotion already been fully realized?
No, but it will be. We're doing all this tragedic stuff to promote this record.
It is known that this record is coming out on September 13th. I got a really high
internet presence on this record. And we're gonna get closer to the date to really
push it. You'll see the commercials on MTV and BET, and all the right places.
We're doing bus benches. It's all being done the right way. It's starting from
the undeground, because we don't wanna hype this record, because this record is
gonna be my biggest record that I've ever done. So we're gonna let it build and
we want people to feel like they're a part of this. This is like the rebirth of
fucking funky Hip Hop music. It's insane. The direction I took musically is hard
to immulate, it's hard to copy. It ain't like you can just listen to somebody
else's beat and it's so simple that you just end up doing one just like it. It's
not like that, it's real interwoven, it's real though out, it's methodical, it's
smart, it's loud, it's brilliant, it's clear, it's wide, and you can feel it all.
I mean I've seen people move to emotion when they listen to my record,
like 'Wow!'. It effects them because on this record I'm the most personable I've
ever been on any record. I'm really personable. And I put myself in the position
of the listener. Like when you listen to this record, you will be like 'Damn!
What would I do if I was in Quik's shoes, he got that off his chest well' or 'Wow,
I didn't know he was going through that at that time in his life. No wonder he
didn't win a Grammy, no wonder he didn't tour a lot and go out. Damn, he had to
go through that? That sucks!'. So you really gonna understand where I'm coming
from when you hear this record. It's gonna be the most talked about record of
Westcoast2k: Everybody hopes that right now, cause you really
DJ Quik: Thank you sir, Thanks Jay.
Fandango has been getting a lot airplay, and you mentioned a while ago that you
would shoot a video. What happend to that?
DJ Quik: It's still gonna
come out, we had to push the album back for the set up. If we had put the album
out prematurely, then I probably would have suffered the same disappointment that
I suffered releasing my last couple of albums, where it wasn't set up properly
and we didn't do the right things. So we're taking our time to do this the right
way. And if the video does come out it will be fresh, it will be new, and it will
be funky. But that's when we film it, cause right now we haven't done it yet.
We've been doing other things to promote this record. But there will be a visual
of "Fandango" with me and B-Real.
Westcoast2k: But is
there a official first single yet?
DJ Quik: No, not yet. We just let
a couple songs go to the radio. "Black Mercedes", "Ladies &
Thugs", and "Fandango". Those are the only 3 songs that are able
to be uploaded. But this record is so much deeper than that. When you hear the
album from start to finish, you will know that I have a new beginning in this
business. The direction that I'm coming is new, it's not like my older stuff.
When I listen to my older stuff, some of it seems like it was in a box. It doesn't
really seem like it was big enough to be big all around the world. But this record,
you don't really need to promote it. When people hear it coming out of their system,
they just go 'Oh my god'. And the way I mixed it, it sounds good on any system.
On every single system you play it on it sounds great. You can hear everything,
it's clear and it's big. And sometimes it wants to bust the speakers on some of
the systems that it's on. It's a big, heavy, and thick bass laving record.
Westcoast2k: You've always been critical towards your old records. You
say they sounded like they were in a box, but most of your fans label them all
DJ Quik: I think they're classics too, but because of what
I was going through I couldn't really maximize that shit. I mean, behind the scenes
I'm fighting with the record company, behind the scenes I'm trying to get my head
right and deal with my homeboys and try to be loyal to people that work loyal
to me. And I just got tired of it. And I ended up hurting myself, instead of hurting
the people that hurt me. And sometimes that didn't prove to be good or helpful
to my records. I tried to cut corners, and record some of that stuff at home or
in other little cheap studios. And I've always been the kinda person that loves
to record big. Prince recorded big, Temptations recorded big. And I wanted to
keep that tradition where we record big. But when shirt started changing, it just
got nasty. And I wasn't able to record big, and if I didn't record big I didn't
feel big. And if I didn't feel big, sometimes you probably felt it on the record.
But this record is the biggest I've ever recorded. It's bigger than "Quik
Is The Name", the way it was recorded. It was recorded in the best studios
in the whole world, with the best equipment in the whole world. And all we have
to do is just do what we do, naturally and be ourselves. Oh it's over! I got a
monopoly going on right now.
Westcoast2k: So this ain't gonna be
your last album, right?
DJ Quik: No, it's not now. Because I have the
new sound. So with the new sound, you wanna spread it. When I was stuck and I
couldn't compete, even with rappers or producers beneath me, I couldn't even compete
with them. Because I stayed so stuck on the West Coast sound, I couldn't compete.
But now, instead of trying to follow them... take this analogy from me Jay: If
you end up being at the back of the crowd, and it's a long ass line, it's gonna
take you too long to get through the line to get back up to the front, you know
what I mean? So what do you do? You figure out a shortcut. This is what I did,
instead of waiting in line and trying to work my way back up to that shit. I stopped
and I went around the back of the building, and I came into the back door. And
while people are still following in to the front, I'm already in the building.
I can't catch up with them, so I'ma go up in front of them around, instead of
following from way back. See, that's the kinda brain I have, that's the kinda
music I have, that's the kinda determination I have.
What's the situation with Shawn Anthony, I expected to see him on the new album?
DJ Quik: No, he's not on the album. He.... I don't know. I wish him well,
I had him signed to me at Warner Bros., but we just didn't see things too alike.
We clashed on some real important issues. And it was just time to go our seperate
ways. And I wish him well, maybe we can do something in the future. But he's on
the mixtape though. But as far as the album, it's serious. The album is not a
mixtape. That's why the mixtape is what it is, and the album is what you sell.
And the good thing about the album is I didn't have to diss anybody to sell records.
It's like, I do that shit on the mixtape and get that shit away. But we are really
focused and dedicated on my album.
Westcoast2k: Besides Shawn Anthony,
were there any other new artists that you signed to Mad Science? Or are you looking
to sign any?
DJ Quik: Not yet, I'ma wait till my record comes out and
then I'ma go full flesh shopping. I'll go to all showcases, I been taking demos,
I been listening but I just haven't been hearing anything that blows me away.
Westcoast2k: Have you thought of working with other new artists
like Bishop Lamont or Glasses Malone?
DJ Quik: Yeah, yeah. I hooked
up with Bishop Lamont cause I tried to sign Bishop Lamont when I was over at Warner
Bros. And then he went to Dre, and Dre signed him ultimately. You know, it's all
good. Dude is talented.
Westcoast2k: AMG's pretty much the only
artist from your old crew that's still around you. How did you get back with him?
DJ Quik: I didn't, I just called him. I still had his phone number. I called
him to see if he wanted to come and be on the record. And if he would bring is
best. I didn't want him rapping no bullshit on my record. I wanted him to rap
focused. So it took us a little time to get those records done, because he kinda
had to understand that this is not just putting out a record. Cause there's so
many people putting out records now, you gotta do your best if you wanna be respected.
My standards are really high, if something ain't good enough then it's gonna get
scrapped. I will burn the disc, I will erase the tapes. It's not that serious.
Westcoast2k: What are the chances you will hook up with Suga Free
DJ Quik: Slim to none. Fuck Suga Free. Suga Free is a nobody.
Suga Free is a drug addict. Fuck Suga Free.
Westcoast2k: You know,
one thing I was wondering, on the "Trauma" mixtape you said about yourself
that you looked like you hated women cause you were hangin with people like Suge
Free. Was that true to a certain extend?
DJ Quik: If you hang around
9 angry people, Jay, you will be the 10th. If you hang around 9 stressed out people,
you will be the 10th. You just association breathe a simulation. You end up becoming
like the people that you surround yourself with. And I surrounded myself with
some stupid negative people that I didn't know, because they put on a front in
front of me because I'm DJ Quik. And then behind my back they go an do all these
crazy things, these fucking illegal things. And it just got sickening, all the
shit was coming back to me. And I caught him, I busted him doing some dumb shit.
So I feel like I wasted my time. That's 2 or 3 years of my life, whatever time
I spent doing his record. I could have been doing something productive with an
artist that can sell fucking way more records than him. He can't even break fuckin
200.000 copies. He's a regional artist, he's stuck here on the West Coast and
don't nobody give a fuck about him nowhere else, cause he fucking sucks. He's
a talented guy, don't get me wrong. But his business is so fucked up and his mentality
is so fucked up, and them drugs got him so twisted, that I can't do shit with
him. Fuck him. If anything, Mausberg was a better rapper than him, and Mausberg
is dead. Did they ever find Mausberg's killer? No.
On this new record
I went through a whole lot of stuff. I put it to you like this, when I left Suga
Free and them and I didn't wanna fuck with them anymore, they got so mad at me
that they started blasting me and slandering my name, trying to ruin my credibility
in the streets. And then they were threatening my kids, they were threatening
to kill my children. So I'm threatening to fuck 'em all up. But I can't find them,
cause they all ran, they all bitches. And that's that street shit, it's like unnecessary.
That's that shit that starts beef and then somebody ends up dead and then nobody
knows what happened. Well, if anything happens to me, I'm letting y'all know that
I hate them niggas. And I know you ain't supposed to hate nobody, but I hate them
for what they tried to do to me. Cause I loved them niggas from my hearth, and
I tried to help, and they didn't do nothing but rob me and steal from me and lie
on me. So how could you trust that fucking crackhead, how could you trust a fucking
drug addict? I have no respect for none of them.
When you say people stole from you, are you talking about the beat you did that
Suga Free sold to 4-Tay? ["If It Wasn't For You"]
Yeah, that was originally Dr. Dre's beat, I did that beat for Dre. And he [Suga
Free] stole the shit and went and sold it for fucking $2500 or some shit like
that. And he lied and said he produced it. See that's scandalous. Thats the kind
of shit that makes you wanna cut a motherfuckers hands off. That's just scandalous.
You know, I let it all go, but when I think about it....Jay, that shit right there,
you wanna talk about me being mad. Wouldn't that shit make you mad? Honestly.
Could you just have that shit done to you and be like 'Oh it's nothing, it's ok'?
And that's why I was angry about that shit. But now, I don't have a reason to
be angry. I mean, my life is plush, it's pleasant, my house is beautiful, my apartment
is beautiful, my other crib is beautiful, my cars are beautiful, I'm not stressin',
I ain't drinking myself to death, I'm not crashing, I ain't even riding motorcycles
anymore! Because I have to find a place to hide all this fucking money that "Trauma"
is about to make.
Westcoast2k: You did some production work recently
on Patches Stewart's album "Blow". How was it to work with a highly
trained professional Jazz musician rather than your used to Hip Hop artists?
DJ Quik: It was excellent, it was dope! And it was easy, because I love music
so it's not that hard. The shit is fucking simple. It's not rocket science, it's
just music. And the key is to make that shit useful, you don't want to sound like
a bunch of old people just jazzing out, because then you will only get a small
crowd of people to like it. We're going broad, so I have to get Jazz to sound
like Hip Hop. I have to get Jazz to sound current and fresh and big, as opposed
to sounding kinda heavy and two dimensional like it used to sound. No disrespect
to Jazz, but the way they recorded back then, it was the technique. And it was
the equipment they had. Now we got better equipment and we got better technology,
so I implemented that in all of my new recordings. And I wanna make everything
sound its best. You know honestly, I don't even really wanna fucking do music
anymore Jay. I wanna really be a diamond cutter. I wanna go around the world helping
people cut diamonds. I wanna cut diamonds myself. It's more money in it. Nah,
Westcoast2k: But it was cool to see you doing something
like that on "Blow". Cause that song was the shit to me. Will you ever
even consider re-releasing your albums in instrumental format?
Yeah, actually this album "Trauma" is gonna be released in a instrumental
form. It's so much musical information on it. We gonna release it like that. It's
such a fucking great sounding record. Wait till y'all hear it! You gonna be shocked
when you'll hear it all the way through, you gonna be like 'Where did he get those
sounds from?'. It's just big, it's clear, and nobody denies it. It's street, and
it's hip, it's smart, it's dope, it's fresh, and it's Quik!
A lot of people still look for your underground mixtape, "The Red Tape".
Are you gonna put that out for your hardcore fans?
DJ Quik: Umm maybe,
KK still has it. KK has like the best copies of it. So I may let KK do it and
let him make all the money for it. Cause it's still a great fucking mixtape, those
mixtapes are sounding great. We were just on tour, and KK was playing it in our
little house. We were always banging that shit in the morning, that was some good
shit cause I still remember all that shit.
Westcoast2k: Are there
any plans of hooking back up with Game for his new album, maybe on the production
DJ Quik: I don't know, I mean they have to call me. If they don't
call me, no! (laughs) If they don't call me I don't have no plans, if they call
me, yes. I would like to go back in the studio with him. But Game doesn't need
my help, Game's got everybody willing do to whatever for him.
From what I've been told you're working with 2Swift again, he had a dope verse
on one of your songs.
DJ Quik: Swift from the song "Felonz"?
No, no, I'm not fucking with 2Swift. 2Swift is a fucking cocaine head. Anybody
that does drugs don't have focus in the studio. I can understand smoking a blunt,
I can understand drinking. I do that, I smoke blunts sometimes but not all the
time. I mean I smoke and I drink, but I don't let it hinder what I do musically.
But when motherfuckers get on like cocaine, meth, heroine and shit, they fall
out of the fucking loop. It's like, the drug can't be bigger than you. Here, have
a fucking beer, hit the joint and relax. Like Marvin Gaye and Bob Marley did.
I wouldn't work with Swift if he was the last artist on the planet. He's one of
those mad rappers I was talking about. Him and Suga Free are the mad rappers.
Westcoast2k: He said you laced him with some new beats.
DJ Quik: Nope, I didn't lace him with nothing. And if he comes out with any of
my beats on his shit, I'ma sue the hell out of him. I totally changed everything.
Swift and Suga Free were part of all that negative energy tha I had on my other
records. Like "Pitch In On A Party", to me I sounded so mad on there,
motherfuckers started calling me gay and shit. They was angry at me and I was
angry at the world, and they couldn't understand why I couldn't be bigger than
life. But then I looked around and I see all these bums around me, fucking hungry
ass bums. Stealing shit from when I turned my back. STEALING! You don't steal
from the man that fucking feeds you. You don't bite the hand that feeds you. You
turn around and motherfuckers is stealing. Swift took one of my motorcycles, stole
it out of the garage, broke the garage door and went out and crashed it on the
freeway and broke his arm. He's all scarred up now. Now what if he would have
died? He's a reckless motherfucker, dog! I don't love reckless people, cause what
if you love a motherfucker that's held on suicide. What happens when he dies,
you'd be sad right? Yeah, so fuck that. I ain't finna help nobody that don't wanna
be helped. And Swift sucks, he's not that good of a rapper.
all the angry people Jay. I shook all the angry people that I couldn't come to
Europe with, because they're getting into an argument on the plane and have the
plane rerouted back to New York, and we'd be getting off getting arrested because
somebody drank too much Remy Martin or somebody tried to smoke a joint on the
plane. I don't hang around those kind of people. Fuck them!
Westcoast2k: What did you think about the Suge Knight incident in Miami?
DJ Quik: I saw it in the news. I think that sucks, I think Suge's been through
enough fucking hell. I think that they should let that man relax.
Westcoast2k: What are your plans after you drop the "Trauma" album?
DJ Quik: My plans after I drop "Trauma" are to be on tour
around the world for the whole year, going everywhere. Whether it's a little bitty
school, a little high school, junior high, elementary, middle school, whatever
it is, all the way up to arenas. I plan to be everywhere, being the same person
that I am right now. Because I am the light, dog. I got a real bright aura, and
I got a real bright record. And no one can stop it. There are people that are
so mad at me right now because they know that I'm about to really blow the fuck
up, they're bitter, they wanna argue with me. And I have to tell them like 'Let
it go! You can't stop it. You guys have stopped it long enough.' So before I turn
old and gray, and lose my teeth and lose my hair, I'ma make that musical statement
that I was supposed to have made more than 8 years ago.
So you gonna be back overseas?
DJ Quik: Yeah I'm coming back overseas!
I can't wait, I love that fucking Hip Hop crowd over there.
How did you like it on the Snoop & Game tour?
DJ Quik: I loved it,
I fucking loved it! I loved every little bit of it. The only thing I couldn't
adjust to was the food, because America's food is different. When I was overseas
it was hard to eat. But then, Aftermath helped that out by getting us breakfast
everyday at the hotels we were at. And it all tasted like home, so we didn't have
no problems. We ate good, we had a good time, we met some of the nicest people
in the world, we did great business, we did hot fucking shows. I was out there
playing percussion! I was DJing for Game and then go change clothes and come out
and play percussion with Snoop when he let me.
you never really performed though?
DJ Quik: If Game could have been the
DJ, then we could have switched and I could have flowed and he could have DJed,
but Game doesn't know how to DJ.
Westcoast2k: I heard you performed
a song in the UK though, is that right?
DJ Quik: Yeah, I think I performed
in London. I did "Dollaz + Sense", I just did like one song.
Is there anything else you wanna say or tell your fans?
DJ Quik: To all
my fans, this is DJ Quik, and I'm sorry, I'm sorry for fucking being around losers
for the last 8 years, being around fucking drugheads, being around angry motherfucking
womanizing ass fighting people. I'm sorry I hung around them and fucked off my
talent, and fucked off my good grades with my fans, and the people that know me
for making hit records. So, just know that my best way to apologize to y'all,
and to gain y'all favor again, is by making the best record that I could. And
I've done it. It's called "Trauma", it's hot, it's ridiculous, it's
brilliant, it sounds like nothing else you've ever heard on the planet. You will
feel it. Some of the songs might make you cry, it's a lot of emotion in it, because
I got it all out of me. And now I feel better. I'm happy, I'm healthy, the record
is crazy, and hopefully you will accept my apologies. Thank you. September 13th,
"Trauma". People get your ID's ready!
hearing that people gonna pick up 3 records at a time.
DJ Quik: Wait
till you hear the lyrics! And the funny thing about this record, you know some
records are cool, like 'Yeah they came off, that's hot' or 'This beat is better
than his rapping'. On this album you can listen to the instrumentals all by themselves,
and you can listen to the acapellas all by themselves, and they're both perfect.
You can listen to this record with no beats, and be FUCKED UP! Because of the
delivery and the sound quality of the vocals. Shit's crazy! It's unique, it's
different, it's hot, it's dark though. It's a dark album in spots, and it's so
dark that I had to do really light songs. Like there's this one called "Catch
22". The lyrics are so runchy and so political at the same time, that I had
to do it over a swing beat. Just so it wouldn't be like I was like Public Enemy,
like I was just rapping down on people. But you'll feel it. It's a little satirical,
but at the same time it's commentary. It's what's going on right now in the streets,
it's the most current album out there, and it's not even out there yet.
But the the record is so good, that we haven't even sent it out the magazines
to get reviews. Like The Source didn't get it, Vibe didn't get it, XXL didn't
get it, People Magazine, Entertainment, Rolling Stone, nobody got it yet. We don't
want it to get bootlegged, because they gonna try to steal that music immediately.
They gonna try to immulate that music. This record is like the new hamburger stand
on the corner in the hood. This record is like a new In-N-Out, and everybody gonna
try to copy it. They wanna eat it, they wanna taste it just so they can see if
they can go home and make this burger themself. But they're not gonna be able
to, cause it's a little complicated.
You gonna love this album Jay,
when you hear this shit you gonna play it over and over again dog. It's a 4 star
album. I'm bout to win my first Grammy, and I'm happy. I'ma already get my suit
ready. I'ma wear a khaki suit with a tie! (laughs) This is my first dime record,
this record is my perfect record. The first one I've ever done perfect.
to DJ Quik's Drop for Westcoast2k ]
message from DJ Quik to all his fans ]