DJ Quik Tells All: The Stories Behind his Classic Records

Erick Sermon f/ DJ Quik & Xzibit "Focus" (2000)

Producer: Erick Sermon, DJ Quik
Album: Def Squad Presents: Erick Onasis
Label: DreamWorks

DJ Quik: “Roger Troutman sample—Erick Sermon wanted me to do it. I was going through my own Roger Troutman phase, like where he would be in the studio experimenting, all the time. Knew what he was doing, knew how to record. He was just born with it. A total geek in that world. That's what I was doing.

"I'd learned the talkbox, enough to impress him. He even liked the way I did it. He knew that I wasn't stealing from him, but he knew that I was inspired totally 100% by him. That was fun.

"It's always fun working with Xzibit because Xzibit has one of the easiest voices to record. He's got one of the easiest vibes to capture on tape. If that is what the goal is, is to still capture energy on tape, Xzibit is great at that.

“And Erick Sermon is one of the reasons I'm even in this business. Not because of the album Strictly Business and the 12” that came after that, which is to me, one of the greatest-sounding 12”s of all time, 'So Whatcha Saying.' Not just because of those records.

"When I went on my first tour, I supported them in some cities. And hanging out with him and Parrish, they taught me how to be frugal, how to keep it business, how to save for taxes. And even though I wasn't the kind of guy that would be out there spending $30,000 to $40,000 every two days on the road, they told me that I had to account for that shit.

"They taught me to get an accountant, they taught me to be wise, with taxes and all that shit. I owe a great debt of gratitude to Erick Sermon, not just for calling me for that record, but just the game that he shared with me back then. Being as smart as he is. What a genius. Long live Erick Sermon.”

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