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DJ Quik & Kurupt: BlaQKout

 

B+

DJ Quik

Album: BlaQKout
Label: Mad Science

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Compton, California’s DJ Quik has long been one of the most consistent producers in hip-hop, as well as a skilled (though sometimes ridiculously sexist) MC. But he’s seldom been in the lean, adventurous form he explores on BlaQKout, a collaboration with ex-Dogg Pound member Kurupt. Quik’s tracks are head-turning throughout: The blistering single “9X Outta 10” features Kurupt at his steeliest and takes the minimal slam-beats aesthetic of Clipse’s 2002 hit “Grindin’” to a lush new place, especially when a couple of cut-up female vocals enter the mix. “Do You Know” is cinematic soul with his usual easy-gliding groove slipping around under it; “Ohh!” calls up early-’80s Zapp and early-’00s two-step garage (more cut-up vocals); North African overtones spice the heavy stomp of “Hey Playa (Moroccan Blues).” The lyrics aren’t going to win awards for thematic originality, and there’s an especially egregious spoken-word bit poorly justifying the excessive use of the word “bitch,” but most of the time, Quik and Kurupt sound invigorated by each other. Or as Quik ends a verse in “Hey Playa,” in slow motion, “I’m that much quicker.”