DJ Quik - Under Tha Influence      
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written by VIG    
Quik has been around for a while now, living through the days of West Coast rap's rise, fall and recent up turn. The most important though is that through the dip in form from the West he was always consistent, never dropping a bad album. In fact he never dropped any thing less than a dope album. Classics? No, but always quality.

The first thing that I noticed from this album was a slight change of style for Quik. The funk was still ever-present, no doubt about it, but the tracks are slightly simpler than they used to be. This doesn't apply for all the tracks, some still keep to his former style. Still, don't worry, all this showcases is Quik's ability to alter his style and still produce another great album. He again keeps his usual guest appearances such as Hi-C, AMG, and Suga Free, but also adds a few East Coast heads such as Talib Kweli, Shyheim, and also Pharoahe Monch. The way Quik blends East and West Coast sounds together couldn't be better and at times leaves you wondering whether Kweli and co. aren't from the West in the first place.

As you can imagine Quik handles virtually all of the production but, for once, lets another take over for 1 track. "Put It On Me" is produced by none other than Dr Dre. It was about time these two got together and now that they finally have they don't disappoint. The track is hot, pure West Coast funk with 2 distinct voices rapping over it. This is also one of the best produced Dre tracks I've heard in a while. To say that the track is one of Dre's recent best and not even the hottest on the album just about speaks for itself. I can safely say that the track is outclassed by "Murda 1 Case" and also "Get Loaded" at the very least and maybe even by a couple of other tracks.

The way I've been talking so far it sounds like the album is perfect, well, it's not. Tracks such as "Birdz And Da Beez" and "Gina Statuatorre" seem to have no place on the album, especially the latter. Here Quik has put his reggae prodigy, Chuckey, on this track and cooked up a reggae beat to go with it and it doesn't really work with the rest of the album. Then some may complain about the 2 instrumentals "Quik's Groove 6" and "Out." However they shouldn't, both have classy production and just show that Quik doesn't even need any rapping over his beats to make it hot.

So what more can I say. The album is hot. It's a slightly different Quik than we're used to as some of the beats are not as complex as usual but don't hold up on the album for this as they work just as well. As I said there are only one, maybe two tracks that are skippable and that's just because they don't seem to fit in with the rest of the album. In my humble opinion, there isn't a reason not to buy this album, it'll be in heavy rotation throughout the summer in my ride...

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