DJ Quik :: Quik Is the Name :: Profile Records
** RapReviews "Back to the Lab" series **
as reviewed by Emanuel Wallace

"DJ Quik is in the muthafuckin' house, DJ Quik is in the muthafuckin' house!", was the proclamation made by a young rapper-slash-producer known to the government as David Blake. The proverbial house that Quik entered was one that was more or less built by acts such as Above The Law, Ice-T, and of course, NWA. In 1990, Quik became the first six-figure signee to Profile Records, the imprint that was home to many top notch emcees such as Special Ed, Dana Dane, and the legendary Run-DMC, among others. Maybe they were on to something, since it seems that from his inception, Quik has had a penchant for funky beats and street-oriented rhymes.

"Quik Is the Name" opens up with "Sweet Black Pussy", which has Quik professing his love for Black women, and he describes a variety of sexual situations with them. If you spend enough time searching online, you may be able to find the explicit video for the song that was shot in a strip club with Quik surrounded by a bevy of naked and nearly naked beauties. I won't say what I thought I was downloading when I first saw it a few years ago, but it was a pleasant surprise. Prominent samples from Kleeer and Betty Wright have helped to make "Tonite" one of Quik's more popular songs. It's a joint all about "a day in the life of a player named Quik". From picking out his outfit, to a game of craps, to waking up with a hangover...the listener is right there.

The first single that was released was the Isaac Hayes' "Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic" sampling "Born and Raised in Compton". There are other samples from Funkadelic, The 8th Day, and Richard Pryor (early in his career, Quik would often scratch in vocals from Pryor's stand up act), but the Hayes sample is what drives the hard hitting homage to Quik's hometown. There is a line that Quik delivers where he mentions suckers getting "dain bramage". For years I've wondered if that was done on purpose or if it was merely a mistake that went unnoticed. In any case, in the second verse, Quik kicks a story about someone stealing his equipment, but not letting it rob him of his opportunity to shine:

"Now Compton is the place where the homeboys chill, you see
But then I found that it wasn't no place for me
Cause way back in the day somebody musta wanted me to quit
Because they broke in my house and cold stole my shit
They musta thought that I was gonna play the punk role
Just because my equipment got stole
But I ain't goin out like no sucka-ass clown
They found they couldn't keep a dope nigga down
So here's some bass in your face, muthafucka silly sucker-
Ass clucker, now you're duckin, cause you can't stop a brother
Like the Quiksta, because I'm true to the game
You're lame, and things ain't gonn' never be the same
Cause a nigga like the Quik is takin over
I really don't think I should have to explain
It, oh yeah, I'm a dog, but my name ain't Rover
And I'm the kinda nigga that's feelin no pain
Sometimes I have to wear a bullet-proof vest
Because I got the 'Cpt' sign written across my chest
A funky dope brother never ceases to impress
My name is DJ Quik, so you can fuck the rest
I'm comin like this, and I'm comin directly
Cause suckers get dain bramage, yeah I'm doin damage quite effectively
Rhymin is a battle zone, and suckers have no win
Cause I'm a veteran from the C-O-M-P-T-O-N"

2nd II None, AMG, and a scratched vocal of Brother J from X-Clan's "Grand Verbalizer" help to give "Deep" a bit of a street-edge as the fellas reaffirm the old adage that sometimes it's better to travel in packs. "Tha Bombudd" has a reggae feel to it and refers to the use of marijuana. I can recall hanging around the older kids in the neighborhood, and listening to the song. I thought the word "bombudd" was the funniest thing ever and was totally oblivious to the actual meaning of it all. A Cameo sample compliments the album's braggadocios title track, in fact in the song's opening lines, Quik says "the C-A-M-E-O track is cookin'". The listener gets a detailed tour of the neighborhood on "Loc'ed Out Hood". Police chases, house parties, and gang activity seem to be a daily occurrence, and just before we find out just what specific 'hood Quik is referring to, we are told to figure it out for ourselves.

"8 Ball" bears the same title and subject matter of his idol, Eazy-E's song, which had been released four years prior to Quik's song. The two would go on to collaborate on several projects up until Eazy's death in 1995 due to complications from AIDS. On all of DJ Quik's albums there is an instrumental "groove" track. They usually have a mellow and laid back feel to them, and this joint in particular laid the groundwork for all of the ones that followed. The same track is used for "Dedication", a song that shouts out to all the "homies that didn't make it". "Tear It Off", "I Got That Feelin'", and "Skanless" round out the album. A sample of The Emotions' song "A Feeling Is" dominates the slow track as we find Quik bragging on all of the pleasures he can give to a young lady (or three):

"Yo, I'm DJ Quik a player and a hustler too
So many girlies on my jock that I don't know what to do
I buy my jimmies by the cases and not by the packs
Because I knock so many boots I have to keep 'em in stacks
Now the fellas they get jealous, the ladies they get hot
Because they know that I'm a player givin you all that I got
And in the sheets I'm a super lover that's what I said
I maybe Quik on the tables, but I'm forever in bed
Because I grind it, and get behind it
And when my tape stops I get up and rewind it
I like to fuck it, I never suck it
And if you're dumb I get you sprung just like a cluck, bitch
Hey, DJ Quik is in effect for the 9-0 season
Skeasin is the reason, cause I'm so damn pleasin'
Quik is the name and if you think that I'm appealin'
Then go for what you know, baby, because I got that feelin"

Many moons have passed since "Quik Is the Name" was originally released, but the album still sounds relevant when played today. DJ Quik's production style has always seemed to be evolving over the years. I mean, how many people can get away with putting a sample from Tecmo Bowl in their music? It's a bit of a shame that Quik had a falling out with 2nd II None and AMG, as they had a great deal of chemistry on the posse cuts that they made together. Quik also had a rather lengthy feud with MC Eiht that started even before the release of this album. He made no mention of it on this album, but subsequent releases contained diss records aimed at Eiht. The two are reportedly now on good terms though. For what it's worth, I'd say that David Blake has had a rather fruitful career thus far. It seems to me that when DJ Quik entered the house with this solid debut, his intent was to stay there. While some of the occupants have departed, not only has he remained in the house, he's constantly remodeling it.

Music Vibes: 9 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 7 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 8 of 10

Originally posted: September 8, 2009