In any given conversation pertaining to the most notable in west coast rap, it is almost guaranteed to hear a handful of names. You'll hear Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Cypress Hill, E-40, Ice-T, and maybe even MC Hammer. A couple of names that probably wouldn't make it into the discussion are DJ Quik and Kurupt from Tha Dogg Pound. They are both formidable veterans that have been creating quality work since the early 90's. Quik continues to blossom and expand as a producer and subsequently, Kurupt has shown growth in his lyricism as well. So what happens when the Quiksta and Young Gotti join forces on the mic? You end up with "BlaQKout", a thirteen track (fourteen, if you copped the album on iTunes) collaborative effort that seeks to achieve lots of play during the upcoming summer months and beyond.
"BlaQKout" starts off with its title track and "Cream N Yo Panties", which both feature Quik's funk inspired production. They help to set the lyrical tone for the album, as the production will go off tangent at a certain point. From the jump, it is apparent that Quik and Kurupt want sex, and they want it in abundance as Young Gotti raps:
"Lookin at lil' mama in the short-short shorts
Showin' that ass for sport
See it's a contest
This fool wanna check me, his girl got the perfect contoured breasts
She loves this
All I really want is a little bit of you, and your girlfriend too
Together we can do what we really want to
Tryin' to make it happen like four, three, two...one
You know I'm the one, all I'm tryin' to do is have a lil' bit of fun"
Heavy bass and hand claps accompany the samples from Soul II Soul and Tony! Toni! Tone! on "Do You Know" There are two versions of "Watcha Wan Do", one of them featuring a verse from Yolanda Whitaker, b.k.a. Yo-Yo. She provides an estrogen laced rebuttal to the guys on the track, including Quik, who's verse ends with a quick lesson in economics:
"Me and your pussy was made for each other
Up above the covers in our sheepskin rubbers
I got two friends, girl, and they my nuts
And all my ex-girlfriends hate my guts
They out the pond, but they still my ducks
And even though we don't fuck, they still fucked up
Because they know I hit the pussy like an easy switch
I take a church girl and make her [a] sleazy bitch
I put out my own records, so I'm easy rich
I'm reppin' like I'm Ruthless so I'm Eazy Quik
Now let's fuck one time for Mr. Eric Wright
Let's fuck two times for Mausberg
Let's fuck three times, 'cause a three pack of rubbers cost $3.29
And I know you drink wine"
The lyrics get more aggressive on "Fuck Y'all" but the production remains funky as usual. Towards the end of the song, Quik takes a few jabs at his former buddies Hi-C, AMG, and 2nd II None. Kurupt and Quik proclaim that they "have to adjust to keep it so fresh" on "Hey Playa! (Moroccan Blues)", a song that reminds me of Truth Hurts' 2002 hit "Addictive", which was also produced by Quik. The song features Tai "Missy" Phillips on the hook and both MCs spitting verses that compliment the beat quite well, as Kurupt raps:
"She got two sides like Geminis, I'm high
Livin' my life, I'm hella high
I'm fine...and it's my time
See I'm nothin' but a fool, I'm cool
I'm cool and do-in' whatever I wanna be doin'
You and me...me and you and...
My big homie DJ Quik, your friend is so thick
Give her to my uh, let's dip, let's do it
Brazillian atmosphere, without a brassiere
Bring those big ole bitties over here"
The next three tracks, "Exodus", "9x's Outta 10" and "Jupiter's Critic & The Mind of Mars" veer off in different directions in terms of production. Initially, "Exodus" reminded me of "Tha Bombudd" from "Quik Is The Name", but the song is a bit too repetitive for my tastes. Kurupt spits some of his best verses of the album over the minimalist beat of "9x's Outta 10". "Jupiter's Critic" sounds like something that would have been found on a Newcleus album in 1984. While I give Quik kudos for trying something a bit different, I'm not sure how many people will appreciate the experimentation. Save for a useless skit and the alternate version of "Watcha Wan Do", the album closes with "The Appeal", a mellow track that brings the production back around to where we started...laid back and funky.
Aside from the short length of the album (clocking in just under 43 minutes), I have very few gripes about this album. Neither artist disappoints on the LP and Quik continues to progress and go beyond the boundaries of traditional west coast hip-hop. Although I'm not sure if fans will ride down Crenshaw bumping a few of the songs on the album, I salute Quik and Kurupt for trying something new. Perhaps they'll be included in that conversation before we all know it.
Music Vibes: 9 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 8 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 8.5 of 10
Originally posted: June 23, 2009