DJ Quik Makes It Hot In Herre By Burning His Death Row Royalty Check

It has been 30 years since DJ Quik burst onto the music scene. The Compton, California triple-threat has supplied fans with a plethora of LPs, including three gold albums as well as his platinum 1991 debut, Quik Is The Name. However, after decades in the game and heralded work alongside some of Hip-Hop and R&B’s biggest stars, DJ Quik is dissatisfied with his position regarding credit and compensation.

Recently, Quik went live on Instagram (video embedded below) after receiving an apparent $188.96 royalty check from eOne Music, allegedly related to his Death Row Records catalog and contributions. “I’m not so happy; I’m real offended by this Death Row check and its amount. As much work as I did for these sons of b*tches, I just feel like the respect factor is crazy—there is none. So, to show you what your money means to me, Mr. Death Row Records—,” Quik says as he lights a grill and burns the banknote.

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Quik then lists credits for Death Row and beyond. “All the Tupac sh*t I did, Tha Dogg Pound project—devil, you are a b*tch. I want my real money, and I want all my credits for everything that I did in this industry. All the songs, including ‘Hot In Herre’ by Nelly and Pharrell—I want my credit for [sampling] ‘Get Nekkid.’ I want my credit from Kendrick Lamar for—and this is no disrespect to Kendrick [or] TDE; you guys are awesome—but the fact that y’all left my credit off of ‘King Kunta’ was crazy. R. Kelly – ‘Home Alone,’ that’s 100% all of my drum sounds, my music, and me playing percussion on it; I want that too. [Tupac’s] All Eyez On Me, that’s my credit—I want that. ‘In da Club’ [by 50 Cent], I helped with that record. [‘If I Can’t’] by 50 Cent, I want that record. I want all my credits.”

Quik has long asserted his role in 50 Cent’s first #1 hit. Dr. Dre, who worked alongside Quik when he co-founded Death Row, has also reportedly acknowledged Quik’s hand in the song’s percussion. When “King Kunta” arrived over six years ago, Ambrosia For Heads was among the publications that linked the Sounwave and Terrace Martin track to Quik’s Funk swing. R. Kelly’s “Home Alone” is credited to G-One, a California producer that Quik worked with during the 1990s. Quik has previously alleged that The Neptunes’ Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo took elements from his 2000 Mausberg production “Get Nekkid” for Nelly’s 2002 double-platinum hit. Nelly’s hit came after Mausberg, Quik’s former protege, was killed in 2000, as his career was taking flight. Quik has detailed his hand in Pac’s 1996 diamond-certified double-album for years, suggesting his role was well beyond one production credit. Songs Quik had initially recorded with Tha Dogg Pound appeared—without credit—on archival label releases including 2012’s Doggy Bag. “I’m starting to get to a point where I’m impatient, and I feel disrespected. I’m not gonna be the underdog of this music industry anymore. I am to be respected as a king and a lord that I am. I am god when it comes to production.”

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Quik also reminds fans that he risked his life and career to work with Suge Knight, Dr. Dre, Tupac Shakur, and others at Death Row for the paltry check. “I took death chances being over there; I could’ve been killed at that record company. I need all of my f*ckin’ credit.” Quik performed scathing MC Eiht diss “Dollaz + Sense” at Death Row’s 1995 Source Awards medley. This came after the Profile Records song first appeared on the Murder Was The Case soundtrack. At the time, Suge Knight had assisted in Quik’s career, including his Safe + Sound album and act 2nd II None. Quik was listed as a Death Row artist in 1996, under his name David Blake. As a producer, he worked with Snoop Dogg, Danny Boy, Jewell, O.F.T.B., Top Dogg, and others. After Snoop, Kurupt, Nate Dogg, and others vacated the troubled label, Quik remained on hand to help with releases, including developing some controversial artists. He has admitted that his associations with Death Row prompted a brief 1997 investigation in Biggie Smalls’ murder. Although never charged, Quik and several Death Row employees were accused by eye witnesses of involvement a 1995 altercation in Los Angeles’ El Rey Theater that ended in a man’s death. Now, as Suge and Dre’s former company continues to change hands on the market (with plans to release more catalog), Quik is upset and not going quietly. “I need my sh*t while I’m alive; give me all of my roses while I can smell ’em.”

On the latest episode of What’s The Headline (embedded in video and audio below), Ambrosia For Heads goes to bat for DJ Quik. We discuss why one of Hip-Hop’s under-sung creators is justified in being unhappy, and unpack some of the things that he’s done for Death Row and Rap music as a whole. We also talk some history, including a complicated relationship with his Hub City cohort Dr. Dre.

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Here Is A Rundown of the Discussion:

0:00 Intro
1:00 TDE’s Top Dawg Posted “The Wait Is OVAH!!!!” on social media
2:00 Which artist—Kendrick Lamar, Isaiah Rashad, SZA or someone else—is releasing new music?
3:20 The AFH team is divided, so they make a wager on whether or not new Kendrick Lamar music is coming on May 7
7:40 An argument for why it will be Isaiah Rashad or SZA music
14:20 A history of TDE’s surprise album release strategy
31:49 The mountain of evidence that suggests new Kendrick Lamar music is coming on May 7
42:52 Kendrick Lamar’s new music may have been recorded in the Death Row Records studio where Tupac recorded
45:50 A review of DJ Khaled’s “Sorry Not Sorry” featuring Nas and JAY-Z
47:40 Nas and JAY-Z do not rap their best verses when they are on the same song together
49:00 The substance of Nas and JAY-Z’s verses on “Sorry Not Sorry” is more important than the quality of the verses
55:50 Nas and JAY-Z are still competing with each other on many levels
1:01:14 DJ Quik says he wants his credit for his work on Nelly’s “Hot In Herre,” Kendrick’s “King Kunta,” Tupac’s All Eyez On Me & more
1:09:24 Every song Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. has been certified at least gold
1:11:08 Talib Kweli & Hi-Tek are making a third Reflection Eternal album
1:16:28 New music of the week: J. Period, Tiron & Ayomari and more

Ambrosia For Heads readers can catch regular discussions about the culture on our What’s The Headline podcast. Additionally, What’s The Headline has recent interviews with Pharoahe Monch, Prince Paul & Don Newkirk, Statik Selektah, Lyric Jones, The LOX, MC Eiht, Mobb Deep’s Havoc, Duckwrth, photographer T. Eric Monroe—who detailed photographing the 1995 Source Awards—and Lord Finesse. All episodes of the show are available wherever you stream your pods.

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#BonusBeat: A video of DJ Quik burning the Death Row Records royalty check: