To many fans worldwide, DJ Quik is an undisputed hip-hop legend. But earlier this week, the West Coast icon lamented his career not being on the same level as his fellow West Coast icon Dr. Dre.
He also said his friends suffered because he had yet to skyrocket to Dre’s status.
“I know it’s early. But I deserve to be where Dre is,” DJ Quik wrote in the first of a series of tweets he sent on Tuesday, Dec. 6. “I don’t think it’s fair, but I understand why. I’ve never had a machine behind me, that always hurt my friends more than it did me.”
He went on to expound on his statement in several follow-up tweets. “My friends have come to me in confidentiality to say ‘do your music like you want to. Just be DJ Quik! People love that sh*t!” Quik wrote.
He also said his first tweet was not a slight against Dr. Dre. “This doesn’t need to be on a podcast. Because you have fire starters, who want to spin everything to get more ratings,” Quik continued. “But the truth is: I love Dr. Dre, like a big brother, one I never had. It pains me when people pit us against each other.”
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Quik, 52, is a multi-talented songwriter, MC, DJ and producer who’s worked with some of hip-hop and R&B’s most beloved artists. His roster includes Tupac, Snoop Dogg, Kurupt, Chingy and more.
He’s also a gifted artist in his own right who’s been in the industry professionally since he was a teenager.
DJ Quik started selling homemade mixtapes after getting a turntable as a gift for his eighth-grade promotion. It didn’t take long for the labels to notice his talent and he signed with Profile Records in 1990.
His debut album, “Quik is the Name,” went platinum after its release in 1991. He remained active and had many successes since, including being nominated for the Favorite/Rap Hip-Hop Artist American Music Award in 1992.
The Compton native is one of the industry’s most prolific producers to come out of the area, but he hasn’t reached the same level of mainstream success as Dre –a fact that inspired his tweets.
Quik further clarified he was actually mulling over how life happens differently for everyone and, despite not having the popularity he thinks he should have, he knows he’s made an indelible impact on the culture.
“There is no automatic winning lottery ticket for everyone Periodt. On this planet, you get what you get,” Quik continued. “But it’s what you do with what you have been given to work with that makes you a star.”
“I know I’ll never be as popular as I need to be, but I have 10s of artists superstars! And when they shine, I just smile. The janitor doesn’t get all the glory, but he keeps the backstage, clean as a triage,” Quik continued.
To put his fans at ease, Quik ended his tweets with, “This is not a meltdown, I’m just expressing myself as neutrally as I can.”
Quik’s tweets garnered a variety of responses. Many acknowledged his greatness as a “genius” and undeniable influence on hip-hop, but they diverged on his statements about Dr. Dre.
Some said Quik was more talented than Dre, while others said he shouldn’t or couldn’t compare himself to the “The Chronic” artist.
“Agreed. Recently told a buddy that you & Dre & Short created the west coast sound & vibe,” @chrysryce replied. “Others obviously contributed but not as much as you 3. Dre launching NWA/Eazy/Snoop gave him a larger playing field but obviously it was his work w Eminem that made it over the top.”
“Man don’t ever say no sh*t like this again…. Respectfully. You matter to those that matter to you. And you’re the exec to me, you have ALL of your roses,” @NeshiaLacole tweeted.
“You are a legend in your own right but you don’t deserve to be where Dre is,” @DregoDaGreat responded. “Dre has produced more classic albums and songs than you. And he’s helped put alot of rappers on. You can’t say the same. Dre is a one of one and his production catalog and contributions speaks for itself.”
“Foh, do you even know DJ Quiks catalog?!, Dre has a production team (ghost producers) and ghost writers… not knocking Dre, but I’d compare Quik to PimpC, Ye, or QTip. Quik is a top 10 rapper/producer,” @bliss_malcolm responded to @DregoDaGreat.
“Nah. Just being honest, but the catalogs don’t compare nationwide. So, don’t look at anyone else’s success to measure your own. Your story isn’t over yet,” @Mizard_of_o tweeted.
“Sales don’t make you a gifted artist or mean the catalog is any good. Matter of fact you just made his point,” @ProfessorYakiB replied to @Mizard_of_o.
Others pointed out how humble and gracious at helping boost others’ success DJ Quik is.
“And where Dre thrives on the ego boost of credit .. Quik is quiet and does things he believes in and never asks for anything in return,” producer Damizza tweeted. “He mixed “lights out” for me.. when I said ‘how much’ he said “make another one”.. always just wants the best for the west!”
“I have & will always respect you for being man enough for often taking a more behind the scenes role as a producer, exposing us to talented artists & letting them shine instead of selfishly hogging all the glory, which, truth be told, does mostly belong to you, playa!” @XandiMusic wrote.
“I’ve met many famous people in my life, you are one of only 3 I ever met who I was in awe of,” @BoxingVillain22 wrote. “You’re the most underrated producers of all time. This album is a top 5 west coast banger!”
Others said Quik has a body of work that he hasn’t gotten full credit for.
“I don’t think people realize the hand Quik had in All Eyez On Me which is equally as world renowned as the chronic. Let’s also not forget Dre has been known to have ghost writers also so that’s +1 to Quik,” @juuuupreme tweeted.
“Youre a true a musician/artist who demands respect and rightfully so. Dre was a master at bringing musicians together to craft a particular sound. I know i prefer the former, so salute to you brother all the way from Australia,” @o_cybin wrote.
“And he was in that studio with Dre creating that sound. Some of the biggest songs y’all know Quik helped on the production. But the credits weren’t always there,” @nikkideevah chimed in.
PHOTOS: DJ Quik. (Photo By Judchuks via Creative Commons License) Dr. Dre (Photo: Hip-Hop Wiki)