interview 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."


[ Listen to DJ Quik's Drop for Westcoast2k ]

[ Exclusive 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?

DJ 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.

Westcoast2k: 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?

DJ 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 high position?

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?

"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." DJ Quik

Westcoast2k: As for the music on there, I'm only hearing good reviews about it.

DJ 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 albums?

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.

Westcoast2k: Like?

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' great record.

"I didn't wanna start this record 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!" DJ Quik

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.

Westcoast2k: Do 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.

DJ Quik: 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.

Westcoast2k: 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 to me.

"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." DJ Quik

Westcoast2k: 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 Quik.

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 will.

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?

DJ Quik: 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 2006.

Westcoast2k: Everybody hopes that right now, cause you really deserve it.

DJ Quik: Thank you sir, Thanks Jay.

Westcoast2k: 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 as classics.

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.

Westcoast2k: 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 again?

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.

"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." DJ Quik
Westcoast2k: 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"]

DJ Quik: 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, I'm joking.

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?

DJ Quik: 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!

Westcoast2k: 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 tip?

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.

Westcoast2k: 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.

I shook 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.

Westcoast2k: 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.

Westcoast2k: 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.

Westcoast2k: But 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.

"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"" DJ Quik

Westcoast2k: 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!

Westcoast2k: I'm 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.


[ Listen to DJ Quik's Drop for Westcoast2k ]

[ Exclusive message from DJ Quik to all his fans ]



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