From the archive
… This, though, was something different: a bare-bones showcase for Quik, in a warm-up jacket and jeans, his hair pulled tight into thin cornrows leaving his baby face unobstructed. (Often he wears his hair in a perm, but no such luck on this night.) He was joined by DJ Quixotic, which seemed like enough support, especially when Quik, as able a musician as rapper, played along at a table set up next to him, using an instant-replay machine and an MPC unit. They sounded sharp revisiting the menacing wobble of Quik’s early hits, defining gangster rap tracks like “Born and Raised in Compton” and “Quik Is the Name.”
But about 20 minutes in the show began evolving from a straightforward performance into a diffuse enterprise. At the edge of the stage a handful of fans were rapping along loudly to every song, so Quik handed a pair of microphones out to the crowd. Near the back of the room were couples doing a two-step, or making out, or sharing drinks from a plastic cup.
Then Quik invited the most enthusiastic and knowledgeable fan up to the stage to rap along. And dance. And steal the spotlight while Quik receded behind his table. For 15 not-unpleasant minutes this continued, the fan in a slow, rhapsodic sway, and Quik hovering over his instruments, or walking around, sipping from the bottle of Moet he’d been carrying from the beginning of the night, and acting as his hype man’s hype man. During “Let’s Get Down” he began pouring Champagne into the waiting cups of the crowd. After “Dollaz & Sense,” one of his most vitriolic early songs,” Quik assured the crowd, “I’m not that angry anymore!”