West Coast hip-hop stalwart DJ Quik stopped in Las Vegas last year to perform at Brooklyn Bowl, and he’ll return Saturday night for a set at LAX. We spoke with Quik about keeping his craft alive and well.
You don’t come to Vegas a lot. Ever since 2Pac died there, I’m not trying to be there. Sh*t rubs me the wrong way. Before that, Vegas was vacation-land for all of California. It’s not the city’s fault; it’ll just never leave my mind.
The film Straight Outta Compton put a focus back on the West Coast. What did you think of the movie? A lot of it was super dead-on, and a lot reminded me of those times, hanging out with Eazy. To relive it was awesome. It was almost like the world got a chance to see why he was championed so much. That movie is right up there now with Menace II Society and Boyz n the Hood.
Has it changed anything for you? I’ve been getting calls to work with people, yeah. The trickle down is real. When times get weird, people turn to music. It’s like a natural blanket. People want music to make them feel good, and we were discerning in the way we did that with the early stuff. West Coast hip-hop is alive again, and it’s like, thank you!
What do you think of the younger generation of artists? Hip-hop is so young. It’s hard for me to speak on the youth and what’s going on, because what I say is dissected and taken out of context. That’s why I haven’t been doing interviews or Twitter. I’ve been doing important sh*t, like helping to beautify the city of Compton. It’s starting to look like the suburb I grew up in. That’s been my M.O. lately, going back to where I grew up and making it a better place.
Do you feel the same way about music? I’m still building, making new music, developing new artists and trying to rediscover my passion for the music and what made me who I was when I was doing it before I wanted money from it. ... I’ve been feeling a little melancholy about the business since we lost so many important people—Prince, Maurice White, George Michael, David Bowie. It’s painful, but the saving grace is that life goes on in finding the spark in some of these new artists. That keeps me going. DJ Quik at LAX at Luxor, February 18.