DJ Quik was surprised at the feedback he received from his last solo album, 2005’s Trauma. “I was talking to some of my friends in the music business and they told me that they thought that Trauma wasn’t musical enough,” Quik says today. “They thought that I was more about the lyrics on that record than the music. That struck me as odd. I was like, ‘Wow. That’s what you guys are hearing? If that’s what you’re hearing and I respect your opinion, now I’m going to make an album that makes you envious because I’m going to go really far into my musical creative world.’”
The result of Quik’s adjustment is The Book of David, which arrives in stores April 20. Smooth yet funky tracks such as “Luv of My Life” with Gift Reynolds and “Real Women” featuring Jon B showcase Quik’s trademark musicianship, which has a heavy funk emphasis. The songs also demonstrate why Quik feels The Book of David is similar to his 1998 release, Rhythm-al-ism.
But Quik says that Rhythm-al-ism was him before being incarcerated and that Book of David is him after. He served time in 2006 for assaulting his sister.
DJ Quik - Real Woman
“George Clinton said free your mind and your ass will follow,” he says. “That’s what I did. My mind is free. My music is free, just where we’re coming from musically. It’s an experimentally dope record. It’s risky, but it’s rewarding, too, because basically it’s me. It’s DJ Quik music.”
Given the personal nature of the album, Quik wanted to make his real name part of the story. Quik’s given name is David Blake and he says that using his birth name will allow fans to see the different sides of him as a person and as an artist.
Give me my props posthumously if you don’t give ‘em to me now.
“It’s going to show that I’m not just hiding behind my brand, DJ Quik,” he says. “There’s the artist and then there’s the father, the real man, the dude that stands up to adversity no matter where he is, in any hood, on any planet. Did I say any planet? Goddamn right, ‘cause I’m not from here anyway and everybody knows it. I can’t hide that no more. I’m just too smart and have too much energy. Give me my props posthumously if you don’t give ‘em to me now.”
Although DJ Quik has sold millions of albums and produced for Jay-Z, 2Pac and others, he is regularly overlooked when discussion of the greatest rappers and greatest producers come up. He has at least one explanation for these oversights.
“I don’t have one of those voices that you hear it and that you can 100 percent identify with it,” he says. “I have a high-pitched voice and with hip-hop, the more hard the voice is, the better, like the DMXs and the Ice Cubes.”
For more from Soren Baker follow him on Twitter: @SorenBaker
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