DJ Quik and Gaslamp Killer
Better Than…A day in the life of a player not named Quik.
Long lines and folks trying to get the valet to park their Bentleys circled outside of the Cabana Club in Hollywood yesterday. It was Sunday afternoon and time for the weekly Do-Over party; inside everyone seemed to have a carafe of sangria and a joint. They were young, monied-ish, and high.
Gaslamp Killer was in the midst of his theatrics when I arrived, sweaty, flipping his well-bodied hair and generally being exuberant. My pal noted that his infectious energy helps him get away with more than he should, and that was the case to some extent as he lifted his sampler above his head and began recklessly punching out beats. No matter, the two ladies next to me — a blonde and a brunette — liked it so much that they grabbed my notebook and began scribbling in it. “Hell yeah this song rulezzz,” wrote the brunette, as GK mixed in some Ozzy.
Flying Lotus was apparently supposed to be here as well, but he had plane trouble, so we were just all going to have to settle for the surprise headliner, who turned out to be…wait for it…
No, just kidding, it was DJ Quik on the wheels of steel, although he did eventually play “Imma Be” at the tail end of his hour and a half set. At the beginning, however, he was in full “give them what they need” mode, even though it was not what most wanted. He spun soul, hip hop and funk artists from the '70s and '80s, folks he said were influential on west coast rap. There was Rick James, the song that the Geto Boys sample in “Mind Playin' Tricks On Me,” “Mind Playin' Tricks On Me,” Stevie Wonder, Bootsy Collins and other bits Parliamant-Funkadelic related. All of whom Quik said he respected for “respecting the west.”
Needless to say, the blonde and the brunette were long gone by this point, and those still paying attention were generally stumped. At last Quik broke out the a capella version of “Can You Werk Wit Dat,” threatening not to rap over it before…rapping over it anyway. As if relieved, someone passed him a joint. Until then, he'd seemed the soberest person at the party.
Another Quik track followed, “Tonight,” and then the Eurythmics. Who am I to disagree? He even showboated a little, switching from one turntable to the other alongside DJ Quixotic. Toward the end of the night Quik got into full crowd-pleasing mode, playing everyone from T-Pain to Keri Hilson. He got the biggest cheers, however, for “Ain't No Fun,” “Regulators,” etc. Respect the west, indeed.
Critical Bias: My willingness to werk wit dat was never really in question.
The Crowd: Black, white, Cuban and Asian.
Random Notebook Dump: Quixotic is the first DJ I've encountered with an SAT word for a moniker.