DJ Quik Tells All: The Stories Behind his Classic Records

DJ Quik "Tonite" (1991)

Producer: DJ Quik
Album: Quik Is The Name
Label: Profile

DJ Quik: “That's the biggest hit I've had, chart-wise, in my career. That was my second record that impacted at radio. And it was a quick record— we threw a house party, and I woke up throwing up bile. Like I drank that much. We drank vodka straight. I didn't really know how to drink back then. I was what they called a lightweight.

"I used to drink Old English 800, half a 40 and I was cool. But when we started making a little money, doing little DJ gigs, I was DJing, selling beats for $200 apiece. I was hanging out with motherfuckers like John Boylan, who produced Boston, that 'More than a Feeling' record. I went to his house in Beverly Hills to hang out with him.

 

When we started making a little money, doing little DJ gigs, I was DJing, selling beats for $200 apiece.

 

"He taught me, he showed me how to have a home studio and make it work. He showed me all these hundreds of millions of record sales and plaques, and he had them all on the floor, they were in the closet. It was like no big deal to him.

"I kind of adopted that style, after I sold my hundred million records—I just put the plaques on the floor, like 'I don't feel like hanging that shit up' Mission accomplished. I did what I was supposed to do.

“I have a different writing style than other people. I write from the total experience. I try to get my fans to look at it from my point of view. I almost talk; I don't even rap. I felt that I wanted people to relate to me and I wanted to relate to people. Through all the records that people like from me—even as simple as they might be—some people was like 'Quik can't rap,' or this or that and the other. I always felt that I was making a connection. I can feel good if I listen back to my record and understand where I was coming from.

“[I was] Hanging out with motherfuckers like Suge Knight, when he was Marion, before they started Death Row, hanging out with D.O.C. And some of the people that he brought from Texas out here. There was a cool little movement of music going on back in 1988 or '89, where you could be up in the studio with Mario 'Chocolate' who ended up producing 'Ice Ice Baby' for Vanilla Ice.

 

I'm hanging out with all these OG-ass gangbangin'-ass drug dealer fly-ass rich motherfuckers. And I ended up just being like one of them. And I made 'Tonite' gloating about that.

 

"I'm hanging out with this motherfucker, I'm hanging out with all these OG-ass gangbangin'-ass drug dealer fly-ass rich motherfuckers. And I ended up just being like one of them. And I made 'Tonite' gloating about that shit. I'm having money—you know, I ain't got no job, but I'm having money—and I'm honing in my rap style. You know what I mean?

"I'm pretty lucky in a lot of senses. Because I could have gotten killed living the lifestyle I was living. But the shit turned into money. And 'Tonite' is the coming-of-age song. And everybody reaches that plateau when they get their proverbial cherry popped. Alcohol, growing up, bitches and shit. It was a great time. Debauchery at its finest.”

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