If someone other than DJ Quik curated this "Top 5 Rapper-Producer" list, it would definitely include DJ Quik himself at the very top. As the Compton pioneer releases his latest album, The Book of David, we sat down with him to get his Top 5 Rapper-Producers of All Time, as well as a singer-producer who gets special consideration.
DJ Quik: He knows how to rock the kick-snare. He knows how to rock the boom bap. He rocks that inside out. It sounds like he can hear the song already finished in his head. He just takes you into his head. He paints the picture so clearly, it's almost like you've heard the song before. He's really Quentin Tarantino-like with his records.
DJ Quik: He's just a quirky, funky type of dude. He's a space alien and he knows how to make dance records without biting "Planet Rock" over and over again. He knows how to make 120 bpm records just live.
That's my guy right there. When Black Eyed Peas first came out, they were on some backpack, conscious rap then they took it to the club. He was smart enough to see where the business was going and he wasn't in bad company with Jimmy Iovine and his cohorts over there at Interscope.
They kind of designed a lane for those guys and it worked great, other than it was spectacular music with hooky hooks that you can't get out of your head.
3. Erick Sermon
DJ Quik: He gauged really serious records, sampled them and really made them timeless in tandem with his record. When you hear [Zapp's] "More Bounce To The Ounce" you don't even think about the original. You think about them guys, EPMD. What he did later with Clive Davis and "Music." He stood the test of time and he can just flow on his records.
2. Pete Rock
DJ Quik: He and C.L. Smooth had a thing and when he started rapping, you could tell he was the other side. You could tell he had more to do with C.L. Smooth's swag than you think. He was just like a voiceless name and he then became the man.
1. Dr. Dre
DJ Quik: It's for his uncanny sense of picking a hit. He has a real high ratio for hit records. He's a producer's producer because he pulls no punches and he knows that quality control is job one.
He never forgot that and he extended his career by taking chances, real big chances, like with Eminem. There was a big brouhaha that he turned into a business where he doesn't have to spend his own money anymore. Who wouldn't want to be that lucky?
BONUS TAKE: Singer-producer: Raphael Saadiq:
DJ Quik: It's because of his hip-hop sensibility. He's got that Oakland thing, that Oakland stoke. That shit is like Too $hort. That's why it works for us. It keeps us tied into that era of Too $hort, that dope-ass era of hip-hop.
At the same time, he reinvented himself and did the whole Motown thing spectacularly, with great effect.
For more from Soren Baker follow him on Twitter: @SorenBaker
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