DJ Quik Tells All: The Stories Behind his Classic Records

Suga Free f/ AMG & DJ Quik "Inside Out" (2006)

Producer: DJ Quik
Album: The Features, Vol. 1
Label: Siccness

DJ Quik: “That wasn't never supposed to leak because it wasn't finished. I was trying to find somebody to sing the hook, and we finished the record. Because Suga Free loved the 'Watching You' record. And he was playing Odyssey, he was like: [sings] 'When you're sticking to the script, and she's urging you to hit, you better fight it. Don't give up!'

"I never knew if that was a man or a woman singing because the videos didn't—there was a girl in the group, but the guy always seemed like he was singing. Ultimately I think it was the guy with the 'fro with the mustache that was singing that shit. And I imitated it. I was just imitating it to have someone sing it for real. I gave it to Suga Free as a work in progress: 'Let's finish it, write your last verse, and we'll be done with it.' He was like, 'OK cool.'

“A little while later I hear it on the radio. I'm like, 'That's a reflection of me! That's not even supposed to be out, that's a work in progress.' Because of that record, I don't let anything leave the studio. There aren't going to be any more mistakes. Ain't nobody going to be going through my vault leaking shit.

"If it's not complete, and it's not finished, and it's not going to Bernie Grunmand's and being mastered by Big Bass Brian Gardner, you probably won't hear it. No matter how good it is, how game-changing, or how wack it is, you're not going to hear it.

"I had that talk with Suga Free. I've forgiven him for it, and we're over it. But that right there, if we could have a do-over, I would love to have finished that thought. Because it was just a thought. And we did it so fast! It was about an hour's worth of work.

“I sequenced the beat. Just added a new bassline so we wouldn't have to clear all the music, get a better publishing split because we didn't use the whole thing. I knew we were going to give up the chorus. But I would loved to have finished that.

"Maybe one day in the future, if I could find someone to sing like that, we'll recreate that whole song. Because [Odyssey's] 'Native New Yorker' was a hot-ass motherfucking record, man. [Sings] 'You're a native New Yorker...You're no tramp like you're no...' That was my shit!

"And 'Inside Out' was a treat off of that album. Do you remember the group Kleeer? On that album they had 'Intimate Connection' and 'Tonite.' Me doing 'Tonite' and Dr. Dre doing 'Intimate Connection' for rap records would ultimately keep Kleeer getting paid for the rest of their fucking lives man. They're paid! These motherfuckers are getting million dollar royalty statements. It's great."

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