It’s been six years between DJ Quik’s 2005 album Trauma and The Book of David, but his silence wasn’t without reason. The West Coast veteran recently spoke on why he ducked out of the game and only reemerged in 2009 for BlaQKout, his collaboration LP with Kurupt.
Speaking with Cashmere Agency, Q explained that his hiatus didn’t even feel like it lasted for more than half a decade. “You know what’s funny? It didn’t feel like six years. Maybe I take for granted the fact that I think that I got time in hip-hop, and hip-hop is such a time-pertinent industry,” he said. “I was just finding me. I was actually looking for a new direction.”
Though his reasoning varies with each response, Quik explained that there were two forces behind his self-imposed exile. “The true reason was because I got custody of my daughter and wanted to raise her,” he continued. “That was more important to me than doing beats and making music and going on tour to me, because she’s my offspring. But the other contributing factors to my truancy of hip-hop is I didn’t gel with the new music. I saw where music was going and I couldn’t get on board with it.”
His disinterest in contemporary hip-hop played a big role. “[I] tried to endorse the new hip-hop movement in the West Coast. But I started looking at one point to who I’m gonna pass the baton to, and unfortunately, it just didn’t seem like the kids came from our school of hip-hop, our school of R&B and all that,” he said. “So it’s hard to just say, ‘OK, you’re the new “it.”’ I mean, everybody would want that endorsement from one of their peers, but if you’re not ready for it, that can do more harm than good.”
The time off from rap paid off, inspiring him to conceive his latest release The Book of David organically. “Believe it or not, Book of David is the most organic record I’ve ever done. It happened so fast, it was just done. I didn’t even have time to dwell on it, it just came out,” he said. “You’d be hardpressed to find handwritten lyrics for this record. It just came out. After hanging out with Jay-Z and fuckin’ Biggie and seeing how they rap, how they compose records without paper, paperless.”