With his candid yet polished verses, intricately formulated beats, and casual-cool swagger, the illustrious Compton rapper DJ Quik delivered an informal, but overwhelmingly genuine show this past Friday night at Velvet Jones. With deep hip-hip roots dating back to 1987, the notorious DJ Quik (aka David Blake) has worked with some of the music industry’s most celebrated artists—including Tupac, AMG, Kurupt, and Snoop Dogg—and become one of the most distinguished rappers in the biz. Currently, Quik is on the road promoting his soon-to-be-released solo album, The Book of David. And Friday night he performed a number of old-school favorites that had attendees reminiscing about the good old days.

It’s worth noting Quik’s admirably modest and almost shy taking of the stage. Known for his distaste for the limelight, he humbly gave the spotlight over a few times throughout the night, giving tributes to Tupac and Biggy, and creating a house party-like atmosphere. Though he was temporarily removed from the spotlight, it was impossible for anyone to miss his domination over the crowd when he stepped back in line.

Over the course of his set, Quik buffs went word-for-word with the rapper on nearly every song, while Quik speckled in some worthy dance moves. But aside from a few hysteric devotees, admirers were remarkably respectful, in line with the sophistication and classiness of Quik’s stage manner.

Featured on his hit-filled set list were time-honored tunes like “Born and Raised in Compton” and “Tonite,” the attitude-infused “Do I Love Her?” and more kick-back “Pitch in on a Party.” Called back for an encore, Quik commendably took the stage for a second time and blew away the crowd with a second set of irresistible rhymes.

Known for his complex beat blends, smooth funk and soul, and bass-thumping, booty-shaking club hits, Quik offered a diverse assortment of sounds, but always in his distinct, matchless style. In combination with his unparalleled imagination for interesting verses, he showed us Saturday that he has surpassed industry standards and grown to be a skilled hip-hop craftsman, as well as an inspiration to the many artists that have come since.

Unfortunately, and embarrassingly for the venue, Quik’s ring, a family heirloom, was stolen off of his finger while shaking hands with fans following the show and was not found. He has offered an award for its return.

Overall, attendees relished in the fact that DJ Quik was able to grace Santa Barbara with his presence. Despite his stardom, he offered an incredibly refined performance and connected with fans in a way that few other artists do. One can only hope that he will look past the impishness of the thief who shamefully ruined a wonderful show and night, and agree to come back again soon.


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