Birth name – David Marvin Blake
Also known as – Quik
Born January 18, 1970 (age 43)
Origin – Compton, California, U.S.
Genres – West Coast hip hop, G-funk
Occupations – Rapper, DJ, record producer, actor, musician
Instruments – Vocals, synthesizer, keyboards, turntables, drum machine, sampler, talkbox
Years active – 1987–present
Labels – Profile (1990–1998)
Ark 21 (2002)
Warner Bros. (2003–2004)
Mad Science (2005–Present)
Universal (2001–2003, 2010–Present)
Associated acts – Hill West, AMG, The Fixxers, 2nd II None, Danny Boy, Suga Free, 2Pac, Knoc-turn’al, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Kurupt, Mann, QDT, Twiztid, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Teddy Riley, Nate Dogg, Bizzy Bone, Hi-C, Mausberg
David Marvin Blake (born January 18, 1970), better known by his stage name DJ Quik, is an American rapper, actor and record producer. According to Quik himself, his stage name reflects his ability to produce records in short time.
Blake has written, produced, and remixed music for many artists. He has conducted many songs for many mainstream artists.
Blake was born on January 18, 1970 in Compton, 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 9th 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 Treetop Pirus. 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
Creating a street buzz off his self-made mix tapes, he began to generate interest off many major labels, including Profile Records and Ruthless Records. Later he went on to regret his contract with Profile Records, as Eazy-E offered him a 1-million-dollar advance. It left Profile Records with no other choice, they sent cease-and-desist letters to Ruthless Records. He signed to Profile Records in the summer of 1990, reportedly as the label’s first six-figure signee.
His debut album, Quik Is the Name, which was released in 1991, was led by the success of two top 20 R&B singles, “Tonite” and “Born and Raised in Compton.” The album ended up reaching 10th on the album charts, and being certified 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.
The Safe and Sound Era
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 many 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 for Death Row Records. He also produced a 2nd II None album for Death Row Records, which was never released.
Quik played a big 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
The year 1997 saw Quik produce 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 dollar 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:
A New Beginning
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 it has sold over 100,000 copies. In recent years he has worked with a 74-piece orchestra, during a collaboration with Marcus Miller, while working on the score to the movie “Head of State”. On July 8, 2005 he married Alicia Hill.
On June 21, 2006, DJ Quik was convicted of assault of 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 had 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, entitled 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 multiple artists including Ice Cube, Bun B, Bizzy Bone, Jon B., Kurupt, Dwele, and Suga Free, who once again worked with Quik. The album debuted at number fifty-five 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 “Him and DJ Quik next year, we will be working on their 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.
Main articles: DJ Quik discography, DJ Quik production discography, and List of DJ Quik songs
Quik Is the Name (1991)
Way 2 Fonky (1992)
Safe + Sound (1995)
Balance & Options (2000)
Under tha Influence (2002)
The Book of David (2011)
Greatest Hits: Live at the House of Blues (2006)
BlaQKout (2009) – with Kurupt
TBA (2012) – with Kurupt
DJ Quik: Visualism (2003), himself
Method & Red (2004), himself in the episode “Something About Brenda”
Entourage (2005), himself in the episode “The Bat Mitzvah”
Keeping Up with the Steins (2006), himself
Everybody Hates Chris (2007), Hilton
“Hilly Hill” Reed in the episode
“Everybody Hates DJ’s
Malice n Wonderland (2010), Piano player
Awards and nominations
American Music Awards
1992, Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop New Artist (Nominated)
1997, Best Rap Album: “All Eyez on Me” – Producer (Nominated)
1999, Best Rap Album: “Life in 1472” – Producer (Nominated)
2005, Best Rap Album: “The Black Album” – Producer (Nominated)
Red Everything Movement