Sometimes I have to wear a bulletproof vest
Because I got the ‘CPT’ sign written across my chest
A funky dope brother never ceases to impress
My name is DJ Quik, so you can fuck the rest
I’m comin’ like this, and I’m comin’ directly
‘Cause suckers get dain-bramaged if I’m doin’ damage quite effectively
Rhymin’ is a battle zone, and suckers have no win
‘Cause I’m a veteran from the C-O-M-P-T-O-N
(“Born And Raised In Compton”)
This week marks the 26th anniversary of Quik Is The Name, the timeless platinum-selling debut studio album from West Coast hip hop legend DJ Quik, who incidentally and appropriately enough celebrates his 47th birthday today; it would be the first of four solo projects from the Quiksta to be released on Profile Records, a label previously responsible for putting out classic albums from other such legendary hip hop acts as Run-D.M.C., Dana Dane and Special Ed.
Throughout his career, the Compton native has mainly gravitated to the lighthearted party vibe counterpart of his region’s hardcore gangsta rap output, and this is obvious right away on Quik Is The Name. Quik introduces his own personal brand of G-Funk with smooth, lush and ridiculously funky production that is guaranteed to keep your head and/or body moving in some capacity. Quik’s earlier material is considerably more sample-based than his later work, which tends to favor more live instrumentation; dude is truly a musical genius whose talents have grown and perfected on a level comparable with fellow Compton-born super-producer Dr. Dre (though he hasn’t received nearly the same amount of praise as the latter, shamefully enough). Quik’s skills on the mic also happen to be superior to Dre’s, effortlessly exhibiting a laid-back, engaging and fun-loving flow with an instantly recognizable voice.
Quik Is The Name contains the hit singles “Born And Raised In Compton” and “Tonite” (with the latter being Quik’s most successful single to date and also one of hip hop’s most beloved drinking songs), as well as two of my all-time favorite filthy and ignorant guilty pleasures (which serve as the album’s opening and closing songs, respectively); “Sweet Black Pussy” and “Skanless” (a posse cut featuring frequent Quik collaborators AMG, 2nd II None and Hi-C). Also appearing on this joint is the first installment of the “Quik’s Groove” instrumental series (igniting a trend that has blessed every one of Quik’s subsequent albums; this one is basically just a reprise of the beat used for the short “Dedication” interlude), as well as the infectious reggae-flavored weed anthem “Tha Bombudd”, the slick and smooth player’s jam “I Got That Feelin'” and an additional favorite of mine, the ultra-funky “Deep” (another posse cut with 2nd II None and AMG contributing guest verses).
With all this and more, Quik Is The Name will always be one of the definitive West Coast gangsta rap party albums. Quik has evolved tremendously as an artist in the many years since, but this joint will never go out of style. Classic material!
Happy West Coast Wednesday y’all….