DJ Quik Tells All: The Stories Behind his Classic Records

DJ Quik "Jus Lyke Compton" (1992)

Producer: DJ Quik, Rob "Fonksta" Bacon
Album: Way 2 Fonky
Label: Profile

DJ Quik: “Now fast-forward from the time my first album hits the streets and started to propel and sell. I'm on a tour bus, I'm being told 'Congratulations!' I'm like, Why? They're like, 'Your record just hit gold this week, so they're going to have a party for you.' Here I am, all I really cared about was getting back home to get to my equipment.

"Back then, I couldn't afford to have a studio on the bus. So I was homesick for my music. Because I just wanted to make more music. I wanted to make another whole album. Like, why are we still touring? They're like, 'Your record is still sellin.' I'm like, I want to go start on Way 2 Fonky.

I was representing the B card pretty tough. Like, I wasn't a super-banged out gangbanger.

I was representing the B card pretty tough. Like, I wasn't a super-banged out gangbanger, but some of the Crips in some of the places I was going kind of wasn't having it.

 

"During the time I started the record, at the end of that tour, some crazy shit started happening on the road. I was representing the B card pretty tough. Like, I wasn't a super-banged out gangbanger.

"I was letting it be known, I was wearing Chicago White Sox hats with the little red in them, Chicago Bulls gear. That was about the time Michael Jordan and them started to come into prominence, so it was just an all-around good time to rock red.

"But some of the Crips in some of the places I was going kind of wasn't having it. Me being as naïve as I was to the fact that gangbanging did just go a little bit farther than California. And to go out of town and see that motherfuckers really didn't have nothing to lose, and to witness these crazy riots at the end of our shows.

"I'm thinking, I'm not invoking all of this violence, it ain't me, this is a movement bigger than me. Because they're like, 'Quik started a riot last night.' How did Quik start a riot when all I did was get on stage and rapped? I didn't even say 'blood.' It was my cousins and the fucking idiots that I had with me on stage. I'm not gonna say their names, but these motherfuckers was real gangbangers.

"I'm trying to get them record deals and get them out of this shit. But they want to sit on stage and fuck my shit up, throw glass bottles into the audience—you know, real irresponsible shit. Getting me sued, getting me arrested. I gotta fight lawsuits and shit.

“For $81,000 in 1991 I had to pay this lawyer in Denver as a retainer fee for a misdemeanor. They were just using me because I was a celebrity. It was all blown up because I was popular. If I had been a Joe Schmoe little ignorant motherfucker from the hood, they would have thrown that shit out of court. Just some mayhem or whatever and it would have been done.

"But because it was me, they made a big fuss out of it. And the motherfuckers that I had with me, these bastards didn't even come back to court out there in Denver with me to go support me even though I gave them a lifestyle, these ungrateful sunofabitches didn't even represent.

"So 'Jus Lyke Compton,' I wrote that because of the shit that I experienced, the murder of somebody outside of one of my concerts at a club in San Antonio, Texas, which—by the way—Shaquille O'Neal was present at, before he got signed.

“And primarily it was just me giving a very visual assessment of the year prior. And regretfully so, too. When I listen back to that record now I don't think I had any choice but to do that record.

"If there was anything I could change, I probably would have added more stories to it. But it was already four minutes long. I mean, I rapped so long on that record that I would have to take the hooks out. And I shortened the hooks!

"The hooks are not the normal eight bars, like most choruses are eight bars. Those choruses are four bars because I had so much to talk about, and there was some shit I left out. But again, it was my naïvete. You are who you associate yourself with, and motherfuckers next to you can truly sink your battleship, literally.”

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