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22 October, 2014@11:40 am

One producer that doesn’t really get his due props is Compton’s DJ Quik. Sure, the man has produced some defining LA classics, even spotted working on Dr. Dre’s Detox at one point, after producing Truth Hurts’ “Addictive” for the Beats mogul. Despite his old hits being mined for new DJ Mustard songs, people don’t usually place Quik in their “greatest producer of all time” conversations, even though he should be considered.

Utilizing much more than your standard drum machine and samples, Quik has worked with live instrumentation and takes a unique approach to beat-making. Such is the case on the first track on his new album, The Midnight Life, which finds a pair of broke rappers begging Quik to reveal the secret of what hip-hop’s future holds. His response, “a banjo,” is met with clowning, as he then proceeds to open the album with “That N***a’z Crazy”, which is propelled by a crisp, polished banjo, very much in the style of Andre Young.

However this track gets a little bit messy, with an overbearing R&B singer crooning over Quik’s lyrics to the point where they are almost inaudible. Perhaps this is why Quik is left out of those aforementioned conversations, as the song could certainly use a better mix down.

Nevertheless, he does have a handful of great tracks here, using unpredictable methods of sampling and track arrangement. Songs like “Trapped On The Tracks” (feat. Bishop Lamont & David Blake) and “Puffin The Dragon” do have the post-2001 influence attached to them, yet both are great and are completely different from one another. When he follows with more traditional funk driven fare on “Pet Semetary” and “Life Jacket,” his long range is shown.

Later on “Shine,” he meshes trap drum programming with somber pianos for a well produced concoction for protege David Blake. And just when you think you’ve got him figured out, he switches things up on sultry bedroom instrumentals “Bacon’s Groove” and “Quik’s Groove,” as well as the chilled out “Why’d You Have To Lie” (feat. Joi)

Far from a perfect album, there are some minor gripes. Suga Free’s pimp-to-ho conversational style is still painful to listen to (“Broken Down”, “Life Jacket”) and sometimes Quik delivers some head-scratching lines, despite a tight delivery and cadence. And not every song works, such as the dated “The Conduct” with Mack 10. And for as fully endowed as “Bacon’s Groove” is, that crackly snare seems a bit out of place.

But minor gripes aside, Quik still shows that he hasn’t lost it on The Midnight Life.

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12 Responses to "DJ Quik – “The Midnight Life” – @@@1/2 (Review)"
  • astrophysicks says:

    Worst quik album yet….disappointed.

  • juan g says:

    People are tripin hard dj quik is thee hardest on producing raping mixing enginering hes been doing this music for a long time and still pushing hits out and nobody sounds like quik and still doesnt get his props and thats not kool cuz quik is better than alot of these producers now days and thats 100 on that shit… dj quik keep drop those hits quik u deserve everything coming ur way homie.. peace out brother dj quik is thee house

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