DJ Quik – The Midnight Life (Album Review)

To say that DJ Quik pioneered the G Funk sound is an understatement. Throughout his career, Quik has consistently kept his music gangster, sprinkled with a little bit of funk and R&B, all while reppin’ Compton heavy.  On his ninth studio album, The Midnight Life, the West Coast legend is still putting in work, delivering the same strong music for his loyal fans. The record is an ode to real music and classic hip hop, with tape based sounds recorded the old school way via analog. The album’s production was handled mainly by DJ Quik himself and released on Mad Science Recordings and INgrooves Music Group.

The album opens up with the question “What does the hip hop game need to blow up?” Quik answers by saying “Hip Hop needs a banjo in it.” To prove his point, Quik adds the distinct banjo sound to the first full length song “That Ni***r’s Crazy,” featuring El DeBarge. On “That Ni***r’s” Crazy” he raps: “And, I’m so cool I can nut ice cream” and “I was acquitted at the trial only my hair is on locks.”

On “Puffin’ the Dragon,” Quik reflects on his love of music and his impact on hip-hop. “On the interstate 15 to Vegas, we drunk and we ni**as, they pay us, we playas.” This song is one to listen to in the ride. An intro to “Pet Semetary” complains “R&B music and gangsta rap is dead” leaves us no choice but to take these fools to the “Pet Sematary.” The beauty of “Pet Semetary” is how it makes gangsta rap feel somehow friendly. The sun is always shinning in his music.

Quik grabs frequent collaborator Suga Free and Dom Kennedy on “Life Jacket,” which seems to be my favorite track overall. A preview of this song was shared last year, and the complete song delivers the right vibe for a hot sunny day in CA.

“That Getter” touches on everything from his legacy to the imbalance of black students who are expelled or suspended school. The track also finds Quik talking about how his grind got him out of the Tree Top Piru Blood gang.

Additional guests on The Midnight Life include Bishop Lamont, Mack 10, and Quik’s son, David Blake II. Overall The Midnight Life shows that DJ Quik has a passion for making music, even if today’s hip-hop fans don’t necessarily feel it. With over 20 years in the industry, DJ Quick stays true to his signature west coast sound sprinkled with live instrumentation and R&B influences. The album only proves how much of a musical genius he is, and validates him as a living legend. The project is available now on Itunes.


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