David Marvin Blake (born January 18, 1970), better known by his stage name DJ Quik, is an American hip hop recording artist, DJ, record producer and actor. According to Quik himself, his stage name reflects his ability to produce records in a short period of time.
Blake was born on January 18, 1970 in Pomona, California. He was chiefly inspired by funk and soul artists, such as Roger Troutman (who even taught him the use of the talkbox, which became a trademark for Quik's sound throughout his career) and George Clinton. Out of respect for his beloved friend, Roger Troutman, he retired the talkbox. David's love for music began at 2, as his mother had an extensive record collection. By age 12 he was already playing instruments, and by the age of 21, he was a platinum-selling artist.
He began selling homemade mixtapes (notably The Red Tape, 1987) after he received a turntable for his 8th grade graduation. He then began doing shows DJing around Southern California, many of which ended in rival gang related altercations. He was a member of the Westside Tree Top Piru Bloods. In the 11th grade, Quik dropped out of high school. For a period of about three years he was homeless after his mother lost her home, due to foreclosure. He would later go on to say that after his success in the rap world many of his family members "popped up".
Quik Is The Name:
After gaining a buzz for himself in the streets from his self-made mix tapes, he began to get the interest of many major labels, including Profile Records and Ruthless Records. He signed to Profile Records in the summer of 1990, reportedly as the label's first six-figure signee. Quik later went on to regret his contract with the label and was offered an advance of one million dollars by Eazy E. This left Profile Records with no other choice. They began to send letters to Ruthless Records, asking for them to cease and desist.
His debut album, "Quik Is the Name," was released in 1991. The album was led by the success of his two top 20 R&B singles, "Tonite" and "Born and Raised in Compton." The album ended up being number 10 on the album charts, and was Platinum by the RIAA. None of his successive albums reached the success of his debut, though they have been well received. He went on to produce 2nd II None.
Way 2 Fonky:
He later released his second album entitled Way 2 Fonky in 1992. It was certified Gold by October 9. It included the successful singles "Way 2 Fonky" and "Jus Lyke Compton." The year 1992 would also see him produce on Paid the Cost the debut album by rap duo Penthouse Players Clique.
Safe + Sound:
Before recording Safe + Sound, DJ Quik had previously scrapped an album, which he said was so horrible that he had to smash the masters.
As DJ Quik began to work on his third album, he started working with Suge Knight again. Their relationship dates back to 1988, before he sought refuge with a major label. He was signed to Suge's independent label Funky Enough Records in 1988. The arrangement proved to be short lived. They linked up again in 1993 for another short lived arrangement.
His third album Safe + Sound, released in 1995, made number 14 on the Billboard 200. It featured friends 2nd II None, Kam, Playa Hamm and Hi-C. The album features the singles "Dollaz & Sense" and "Safe + Sound". During the process of the album, Quik was feuding with rapper MC Eiht from Compton's Most Wanted and long time friend AMG. Today, he is on good terms with MC Eiht. Safe + Sound saw Suge being the executive producer. His relationship with Suge led him to produce some of the tracks on Above The Rim, Murder Was The Case, All Eyez On Me, Until the End of Time, Better Dayz and It's About Time and was on Death Row Records for a short period but never released a album while on the label. He also produced a 2nd II None album for Death Row Records, which was never released.
Quik played a part on the 2Pac album All Eyez On Me, though he is only credited for producing "Heartz of Men" on that album (in the credits he used his real name, David Blake, because he was under contract to Profile). He also did additional production and mixed half the album in over two days. Quik made another uncredited appearance on a song with 2Pac named "Thug Passion". He also produced on the albums Dogg Food and Tha Doggfather, although he received no credit. DJ Quik later went to say that he had some of the best times of his life when he worked with the label.
Rhythm-al-ism and beyond:
In the year 1996, Quik produced a track on House of Music, by Tony! Toni! Toné!. The success of the Quik-produced single "Let's Get Down" prompted House of Music to sell over 1 million copies. He also worked with Shaquille O'Neal on his You Can't Stop the Reign album. DJ Quik later discovered Suga Free, a pimp turned rapper in 1997. Their relationship saw Quik serving as the producer on his debut album, Street Gospel. It reached number 27 on the Billboard R&B albums chart. The album fell short of commercial expectations, but was praised by many underground rap fans in California, and is seen as a "street classic" by many of them. The DJ Quik production on this album was considered to be refreshing compared to the stereotypical West Coast G-Funk sound that had dominated most of the early 1990s, as he incorporated elements of jazz, funk, rhythm and blues, and even rock and roll to create instrumentals that caught the ears of many listeners. It was recorded in a record of 28 days.
In 1998 Quik released Rhythm-al-ism his fourth studio album on Profile Records. This record was certified Gold in 1999, and contained the singles "Hand in Hand (featuring 2nd II None and El Debarge) and "You'z A Ganxta." It featured guest appearances by Nate Dogg, Snoop Dogg, AMG and Suga Free. That year he went on to produce for The Luniz, Shaquille O'Neal, Deborah Cox and Jermaine Dupri. He also produced on The Kingdom Come by rapper King Tee which ultimately never came out due to label problems. He also faced personal and professional tragedy when his close friend and protégé Darryl Cortez Reed was murdered in 1998. In 1999, there was the release of Classic 220 by 2nd II None, in which Quik played a huge part. Production on Gap Band's Y2K: Funkin' Till 2000 Comz album, Snoop Dogg's No Limit Top Dogg, Suge Knight Represents: Chronic 2000 and Deep Blue Sea (soundtrack). This was compounded by the death of another friend and rapper Mausberg, subsequently murdered in 2000. That year, saw the release of rapper Mausberg's album, and DJ Quik's Balance & Options. Also production with Whitney Houston, Erick Sermon, 8Ball & MJG, Xzibit and AMG.
After the lackluster sales of only 400,000 units of his fifth album, he was dropped by Arista Records, which had bought Profile Records. He produced for Kurupt, Big Syke, Janet Jackson, and Won G. He produced on Made (soundtrack) in 2001. That year also saw Suge Knight try to get Quik as the in-house producer for Death Row Records. In 2002, he released Under tha Influence under Ark 21 Records which sold only 200,000 units. He also produced Truth Hurts' Top 10 pop hit "Addictive" that year. However, he had used an uncleared Hindi sample on the record, and the copyright holders eventually filed a $500 million lawsuit against Truth Hurts' label, Aftermath Entertainment, that was amicably resolved by Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre. DJ Quik also produced and appeared on another track on Truth Hurts' debut LP, Truthfully Speaking, entitled "I'm Not Really Lookin". He worked with Talib Kweli, Will Smith, and Shade Sheist that year.
Record problems and a plethora of others almost prompted Quik to retire. The album The Best of DJ Quik: Da Finale was originally going to be his last release. He later stated:
"I just couldn't escape that contract. Basic contracts are supposed to be like 6 or 7 years, or 1 year with like maybe 6 options. The contract I was in was like a 10 or 11 year contract. I wasn't getting paid and I wasn't happy at all. And plus I was going through a bunch of shit.".
He later decided to come back. In 2003 Jay-Z commissioned Quik to produce on The Black Album. Rapper Chingy worked with Quik on his Jackpot which also proved to be a hit. He worked for Roscoe, Butch Cassidy, Nate Dogg, E-40, TQ and Hi-C. In 2003 he also saw 50 Cent become a bigger star, as the aforementioned Get Rich Or Die Tryin album featured In Da Club which Quik did the drums for.
Ludacris got DJ Quik to produce on The Red Light District in 2004. He was also commissioned for a remix on the 2Pac album Loyal to the Game. He also worked with Knoc-turn'al and Suga Free that year.
Mad Science Recordings:
In September 2005, DJ Quik released his first independent album on his own new label, Mad Science Recordings. The album is titled Trauma and reflects the turmoil in the producer's "musical" life over the past few years. It was considered an independent success and has sold over 100,000 copies. In recent years he has worked with a 74-piece orchestra while working on the score to the movie "Head of State" with Marcus Miller.
On June 21, 2006, DJ Quik was convicted of assault on his sister and sentenced to five months in prison. The incident occurred in 2003, when he allegedly "pistol-whipped" her for extorting him, according to police reports. He was released early in October 2006. He went on to say that prison sentence gave him time to reflect on his life, and he later began getting rid of extra baggage.
In late 2007, DJ Quik and AMG formed the group: The Fixxers. Along with the formation of the duo, he dropped the "DJ" from his name for the upcoming album and rapped as "Quik". In March 2007 they signed a single deal with Interscope Records for the release of their album Midnight Life and promoted it with "Can You Werk Wit Dat?" However, the album was scrapped due to unauthorized actions by Hudson Melvin Baxter II (also known as "Hud"), who illegally put it up for sale on the internet in December 2007. The album was then spread across the Internet as a bootleg. In February 2008, Quik finished up mixing and producing for Snoop Dogg's new record Ego Trippin. In the process of working with Snoop Dogg, a production group called QDT was formed. It stands for Quik-Dogg-Teddy and consists of DJ Quik, Snoop Dogg and Teddy Riley. A collaboration album with Tha Dogg Pound member Kurupt, titled BlaQKout, was released June 9, 2009.
The Book of David (2011-present):
DJ Quik released his eighth studio album The Book of David on April 19, 2011, which included appearances by Ice Cube, Bun B, Bizzy Bone, Jon B., Kurupt, Dwele, and Suga Free, who once again worked with Quik. The album debuted at number 55 on the US Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 9,700 copies in the United States. It also entered at number 5 on Billboard's Top Rap Albums, number 12 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and number 4 on Independent Albums. In its second week, it dropped to number ninety nine on the Billboard 200 with sales of 4,200.TMZ reported that for the album's release party he took over a marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles on April 22, 2011 and in a matter of minutes, the whole place was up in smoke. DJ Quik performed live with The Roots on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon with guest stars Jason Lee and Emma Roberts on June 10, 2011.
Kurupt confirmed in a 2011 interview with HipHopDx.com that "And also next year, we will be working on our next album together, DJ Quik and Kurupt. Every year me and DJ Quik are gonna drop us one of these slizzappers!".
Snoop Dogg joined forces with DJ Quik, Battlecat, The D.O.C. and others to create four songs for Dr. Dre's Detox. According to Snoop, two of those songs would be solo cuts for Dre while the other two would be collaborations between Snoop and Dre. Two videos were released, both featuring all of these artists collectively working on the project and discussing the need to release quality work.
Feud with Compton's Most Wanted:
DJ Quik got involved in a long tumultuous rivalry with fellow Compton rapper MC Eiht and his group Compton's Most Wanted that lasted for several years. The feud traces back to a track on DJ Quik's debut mixtape The Red Tape, where Quik indirectly dissed both Compton's Most Wanted and the N.W.A. During that time, Quik was a member to the Tree Top Piru Bloods and Eiht was a member of the 159th St. Tragniew Park Compton Crips. On the track "Duck Sick" from CMW's debut album It's a Compton Thang, they criticized and questioned Quik's street credibility. They hit Quik again in 1991 on their sophomore effort Straight Checkn 'Em. Quik didn't respond to CMW's disses on his debut album Quik is the Name, but he responded to Eiht on the title track to his sophomore effort Way 2 Fonky. CMW responded months later with a music video that featured a DJ Quik lookalike that was being chased by CMW. Quik didn't respond to it as he was facing label problems and other music projects. However, on the soundtrack to the 1994 short film Murder Was The Case, on the track "Dollaz + Sense", Quik ruthlessly verbally attacks Eiht, calling him a movie script killer (in reference to Eiht's appearance in the critically acclaimed 1993 film Menace II Society), a coward, and more. Quik furthered the flames by performing the song at the 1995 Source Awards in Atlanta. The feud stayed quiet until April 1996, where Eiht responded to Quik on his sophomore solo album Death Threatz. The feud between Quik and Eiht slowly died down in 1997 following the deaths of Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G, but the feud didn't actually end until the summer of 2002, where Snoop Dogg, Daz Dillinger, and other West Coast rappers helped Eiht and Quik squash the beef. Since then, Quik and Eiht collaborated on various songs. Even though the rivalry was not on the level of the Nas-Jay Z rivalry or the East Coast-West Coast hip hop rivalry since it was not covered by the media, it has been hailed by most hip hop fans and critics that it stands out as one of the longest active hip hop rivalries of all time (from 1987 to 2002).