DJ Quik Recalls Making Tupac’s All Eyez On Me & The Advice Dr. Dre Gave Him (Video)
DJ Quik and Hi-C recently appeared on Los Angeles, California’s KDAY radio station. The Compton, California natives who have a long collaborative history spoke to host Romeo about the shows they have been doing together in the Midwest. Quik also praised the upcoming Suga Free album that he worked on.
The legendary MC/producer/DJ/musician says that he is planning to do a blog that revisits some incredible industry stories that he has witnessed. Having been a professional artist for 30 years, the man born David Blake alludes to encounters with Eazy-E, JAY-Z, Rage Against The Machine, Dr. Dre, The Game, and others.
Notably, Quik also worked closely with Tupac Shakur on the last album (a double effort) released during his life, 1996’s All Eyez On Me. Quik is credited with producing “Heartz Of Men,” in addition to talkbox, mixing, and co-writing on the diamond-certified Death Row Records release. Following Pac’s death approximately seven months after the 2LP released, additional songs by Quik and Shakur released on posthumous releases and label compilations.
In praising All Eyez, Quik remembers the marathon sessions in 1995 and 1996 that followed Tupac Shakur’s release from prison. Hi-C also recalls memories from being in Death Row’s Can-Am Studios in Tarzana, California at that time.
“[All Eyez On Me is] one of my favorite [1990s albums] because I got to party with [Tupac], and at least try to talk to him, calm him down,” Quik says at 20:30. “Just watchin’ him go in and kill every record like that, whether the mic was on or not, he was just on. Then he’d pop up with people. You’d be like, ‘You hangin’ out with this ni**a?'”
Hi-C interjects, “Two studios at the same time. Two studios, bro.” He worked with Nate Dogg, Snoop Dogg, and other former Death Row artists on Quik’s Rhythm-Al-Ism album in 1998. Quik continues, “It was a whos-who of people. All your favorite people. [From my session, Tupac would] run to Dre’s. Go from there and go to Johnny J’s session, be in there for two hours, finish and then just be walking around the hallway in a Versace shirt with [a bottle of] Hennessy like, ‘Ni**a, who else? Ni**a, I’m wipin’ all this sh*t down! We couldn’t go home. It was like, he’s got a message to relay, we’re gonna let him relay it. Dre stayed overtime. I stayed overtime. Daz and Kurupt, Method Man, Johnny J, and [Death Row engineer] Dave Aron, rest in peace, Snoop—everybody stayed overtime for this ni**a to get that sh*t off.”
“It was the biggest record in Hip-Hop, at that [time]. For a long time, it was the Thriller of Hip-Hop.” Quik notes that his album input goes beyond what may be credited to him. After Romeo says that the then Profile Records artist was deeply involved, the guest responds, “Yeah, I put my fingerprints all over it. Although I have this say this: we’re gonna keep it real. Dr. Dre pulled me to the side, and he gave me some advice. He was like, ‘Dude, you need to turn the f*ckin’ vocals up. Don’t keep them sh*ts down. We ain’t makin’ Jazz music.’ I’m like [snaps fingers], ‘Got it! Vocals up! All the time! Aight Dre!'”
After making two songs on the work, Dr. Dre would leave the label he co-founded a month after All Eyez released. Dave Aron, who engineered many Death Row sessions in the 1990s and beyond, died last month (March 11) following unspecified health problems. Johnny “J” Jackson died in 2008, following a fall from a jail tier.
Quik is performing at KDAY’s Krush Groove concert on Saturday (April 20) in Inglewood, California.
#BonusBeat: Suga Free’s recent interview with KDAY, where he discusses his new album, including Quik’s contributions: