BACK2BACK | ICE CUBE X DR DRE WC | TYPE BEAT | By | DABISHOP ON DA TRACK |
One of the premier West Coast gangsta rap artists of the early '90s, DJ Quik was a rapper as well as a producer whose career carried on well into the next decade, as he put his career aside and began working primarily as a beat-maker. Born David Martin Blake on January 18, 1970, in Compton, California, DJ Quik made a name for himself on the mixtape circuit during the late '80s, compiling tapes also featuring fellow rappers AMG, 2nd II None, and Hi-C. On the basis of these mixtapes, he was signed to Priority Records and made his album debut with Quik Is the Name (1990), on which he produced all the tracks (as he would on each of his solo albums) as well as rapper. Quik Is the Name proved quite successful, spawning two hits ("Tonite," "Born and Raised in Compton") and going platinum.
BACK2BACK | ICE CUBE x DR DRE WC | TYPE BEAT | by | DABISHOP ON DA TRACK |
In 1994, starting with the Murder was the Case soundtrack, Dre attempted to push the boundaries of G-funk further into a darker sound. In songs such as "Murder was the Case" and "Natural Born Killaz", the synthesizer pitch is higher and the drum tempo is slowed down to 91 BPM to create a dark and gritty atmosphere. Percussion instruments, particularly sleigh bells, are also present. Dre's frequent collaborators from this period included Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania natives Stuart "Stu-B-Doo" Bullard, a multi-instrumentalist from the Ozanam Strings Orchestra, Sam Sneed, Stephen "Bud'da" Anderson, and percussionist Carl "Butch" Small. This style of production has been influential far beyond the West Coast. The beat for the Houston-based group Geto Boys 1996 song "Still" follows the same drum pattern as "Natural Born Killaz" and Eazy E's "Wut Would U Do" (a diss to Dre) is similar to the original "Murder was the Case" instrumental. This style of production is usually accompanied by horror and occult-themed lyrics and imagery, being crucial to the creation of horrorcore.
Every Dre track begins the same way, with Dre behind a drum machine in a room full of trusted musicians. (They carry beepers. When he wants to work, they work.) He'll program a beat, then ask the musicians to play along; when Dre hears something he likes, he isolates the player and tells him how to refine the sound. "