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DJ Quik and Kurupt | BlaQKout

Mad Science (2009)
By RICHARD BECK  |  June 15, 2009
4.0 4.0 Stars

LA hip-hop has two threads, and DJ Quik pulls both of them. The first is g-funk, a production style that relies on deep, open grooves and an endless parade of funk samples. The second is West Coast backpacker rap, which is what happens when guys with enormous vocabularies smoke a lot of weed.

The fact that Quik has inhabited both worlds for two decades is a pretty nifty trick: he can go "out there" without disappearing completely, and he can talk about problems in the ghetto without sounding as if he lived at the Gap. On BlaQKout, his collaboration with the Philadelphia/LA MC Kurupt, his sonics range far and wide.

"Do You Know" has a glamorous sweep that suggests something like wise retrospection, and it leads right into "Watcha Wan Do," which could be the funky soundtrack to a Zelda game. Eventually, there's "9X Outta 10," which sounds as if somebody had handed turntables to the Terminator. This one has Kurupt rapping as if he were hypnotized — "It's gonna start again where it started at/Ended up, and restart again." It all might seem like preamble when you finally get to "Jupiter's Critic and the Mind of Mars," which may be the weirdest slice of rap genius since "A Milli."

Quik has some of Prince's little-guy arrogance, and here it's nearly schizoid: "It's character, you miss it?/It's America, you visit?/Did you get on a boat without a ticket?" Uh, yes? What? This makes him sound crazier than he actually is, though. Quik knows what he's doing. You can hear it on every track of this symphonic mini-masterpiece.
Related: The dirt, The Narcicyst | Self-titled, Busdriver | Jhelli Beam, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Entertainment, Hip-Hop and Rap, Music,  More more >
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