DJ Quik (aka David Blake) started making great music in the early '90s, and has been pumping out hits ever since. But Quik's been controversial over the years and has gone through his share of highs and lows. Now, though, he seems more confident in his skill than ever, which only means the best is yet to come from the Compton native. Ahead of his show with Suga Free at the City National Grove of Anaheim this Friday, Quik talked over the phone with us about setting the record straight about Eazy-E, why he feels like Batman, and the secret to his luxurious hair.
First of all, I've seen you several (eleven) times and your show is always brilliant! I assume there will be more of that at The Grove?
We're gonna kill that! Just let it be known that we're absolutely going to murder that! Everybody's gonna get their money's worth whether it's ten people or ten thousand.
Umm, I'm sure it'll be packed but I don't think The Grove holds ten thousand. Haha…
[Laughs.] It's only like a three thousand seater but if two hundred people come, it's gonna be the best thing they've ever seen!
I've always known you to be the best but it's nice to hear you feeling confident.
I'm really killing it, Ali. I'm so much better now. My band is the best band too. They put all others to shame! I'm tired of feeling like I can't do anything, it's boring. I'm a musician and one of the greatest from one of the greatest music eras ever. And to know that I helped influence everybody? Man! I've got so many records under my belt and I'm not even 45! I'm not even losing my hair!
That's a good thing because your hair is extra luxurious. Now we must know: cornrows or free flowing on Friday?
Well, I like my hair down lately because cornrows are what they are. I'm letting my hair be like the style of helium. [Laughs.] It's gonna be an anti-gravity hairdo. Why not? I'm going no static cling. I'm gonna rub my hair in them Downy fabric sheets! [Laughs.]
At least it'll smell amazing! Is it true you live in Michael Jackson's house or something like that?
I actually live on a street that Michael Jackson lived on in the '70s and '80s. I live on Michael Jackson's street! Get the fuck outta here! I'm the greatest!
I'm just shocked that you are just coming into what a great performer you are.
Well of course but, I never do these interviews with people. Like, I never get to talk candidly because everybody has preconceptions of the era I came up in. When I came up, it was all “New Jack Swing” and “Gangsta Rap.” I just so happened to be a Gangsta Rapper who had New Jack Swing! You dig?
Oh, I dig so feel free to let it roll. Don't let my white girl voice fool you! I love me some Quik.
Hey, I love you too. For all my fans that love me, ya'll keep me alive. I feel like, if they don't give me my props I'm gonna go ahead and do things that have nothing to do with music. I'm gonna do a PBS special or something.
You gonna go on PBS to raise money to stay on Michael Jackson's street?
Exactly! [Laughs.] Well not really because it's paid for!
I wouldn't mind seeing you in the acting world, not sure about PBS but I'm sure you could rock it. So being a big fan of Michael Jackson, any thoughts you want to share?
You know, Michael Jackson was a philanthropist. He's a guy who wouldn't take no for an answer. He's in the Guinness World Book of Records for giving away the most money! I think he always needs to be remembered.
Thoughts on Conrad Murray?
That derelict guy, I'm gonna call him what he is. Let him go. He's in crazy camp right now. He's in the County Jail. People, stop torturing him. He knows what it is. He's losing his hair, he's tired, he's bored, and he's not going to be able to practice medicine when he gets out. He's done. Leave him alone. Let's just all remember Michael Jackson's music and keep him alive by always doing it looking good. If you can't do Michael Jackson's moves on stage and you want to dance, don't do it. Just play the song and bounce. [Laughs.] Respect Michael Jackson.
Not to get to grim but, Nate Dogg's death was another shock.
Yeah, I buried Nate Dogg this year. I don't know how to act right now about it. I buried my best friends. Nate, Tupac, Mausberg, Eazy-E. My best friends are in the grave.
And you were tight with Eazy-E. Do you stay in contact with his family?
Eazy-E. Yeah, I used to spend time with him in Calabasas in his mansion. I'd be like, “Why do need a library to live in? This is like a theatre, like Pepperdine, why do you want to live in a museum? You're twenty-three years old, what are you doing?” [Laughs.] I watched him do the coolest things with his money. I so miss Eric. People have said some dumb stuff.
I just wanna reintroduce myself; I am a student of Eazy-E. Eazy took care of me. He paid me always, he still pays me from the grave. I still get residuals from him and I thank God for that! The reality is that he was so misunderstood. No he didn't know he had AIDS and was running around with it. He wasn't that kind of a guy. They tried to put it on the Internet that I said that.
I think I read something like that on-line a while ago … care to set the record straight?
Yeah, let me speak on it and dispel all these myths on what kind of person I am. I'm living the way I am because I knew Eric Wright. That's a great thing. I know his kids and they're great people. He did what he did and he's gone but always remember these people because if it wasn't for them, there'd be no me.
Would you say you owe your success to the past then?
Let's put it like this. If I didn't hear Michael Jackson's “Looking Through the Windows,” I wouldn't be fly! If I hadn't heard him singing, going through acne, doing records like, “All I do is Think of You,” I wouldn't be fly!
Wait, did you just say, “Going through acne?” Haaa.
Yeah! Going through the acne phase! [Laughs.] I'm sorry, I'm just such a fan.
I'm glad you and Suga Free squashed your beef because you guys make a great team.
Yeah, me and Suga Free have been hanging out for three or four year straight real tough. Every now and then we get on stage but lately when we get on stage, it's like Penn and Teller. It's not Simon and Garfunkel. It's Penn and Teller. Suga Free is it! I have so much fun with him. He's funny and he's got one of the best stage shows. I'm excited! It's entertaining. We're definitely bringing it this weekend!
I believe you and I seriously can't wait as if it's not obvious at this point …
Just know that I'm coming with my friends and we're all musical and coming to have a good time. We just want to show people that there is nobody better than us on stage. I hate to use that term but like, if you put the “bat signal” in the air … I'm coming! I feel like I'm Batman right now. I feel like a superhero right now!
Ali Lerman knows much about comedy, basketball, and celebrating Wu-Tang Wednesday. She’s been writing for fifteen years and still calls her mom with grammatical questions.