The last DJ Quik album that was released in 2011 was possibly his most personal to date. That album was a true reflection of the hardship that Quik was facing in dealing with fame, family, money, death and label issues that have at times plagued his career. But he also knew how to keep the album very groovy and went back to the trademark funk that people loved about him in the first place. Where when Book of David was his most personal work to date, This album here titled Midnight Life is more vibrant, Upbeat, Energetic and more fun. The climate did a 180 since Quik dropped a album and it was very unknown if the fans are still ready to embrace some newfound West Coast funk from the Compton legend.
The first single Straight Jacket is vintage DJ quik. Everything from the trademark smooth sound, The westcoast Playalistic flows from his Partner Crime Suga Free and West Coast new comer Dom Kennedy. People weren’t really feeling the hook but I thought it was catchy enough to draw casuals and it doesn’t stray too far away from the West Coast sound that we know Quik would deliver. The album’s street Single Pet Sementary has Quik addressing haters who think Gangsta Rap is dead and to show that he isn’t washed up.Whats really bizarre is that you would think by looking at the cover that Quik was gonna flip it into some horrorcore dark type of vibe like he did with Demon’s Carol but it came out as another funky jam that showed that he can still create beats that can still slap and making the West coast sound fresh without recycling old G-Funk
What should also be noted about Quik’s resume is that he’s never afraid of experimenting with different sounds. Where producers are also Pigeonholed into reproducing the same sound and often fade into obscurity, Quik often take artistic risks and their evident on previous albums since Rhythimlism. That Nigger’s Crazy is a potent example of a Quik Masterpiece with the Japanese like backdrop and scratches along with Quik’s brash braggadocio showcasing his very vibrant persona and proving that He isn’t afraid to still get busy whenever it be on wax or in the streets. Puffin the Dragon is a nice update of the West Coast layered sound with a more groovy sound with Quik shooting unexpectedly shooting darts at Lil Wayne, Drake and P-Diddy. Quik has been proven a loose screw who has his days of just shooting random darts at his peers(Last album it was Pharell, The Blaqout album it was Hi C and 2nd II none).
As for guest appearances, Mack 10 makes his first appearance on wax in years on The Conduct paying Ode to their Piru set and homage to the late Rodger Troutman with the talk box. Quik’s son David Blake III makes solid contributions with his father and he sounds eerily like a young version of his father and produced some of the cuts on here. They sound solid but they don’t have that magical touch that his father has just yet. But he’s solid on the mic and he has plenty of room to grow under the right jurisdiction.
Even though the album loses a bit of steam, Its the slow Quik grooves that he’s always been known for that comes through and show why Quik is possibly one fo the best to do it. The whole Neo Soul type of vibe he layered for Why’d You have to Lie along with the classic continuation of Quik Groove(Quik Groove 9) and Bacon’s Groove are very Melodic, Laid back and soothing. MidNight Life may be as rock solid as Book of David but its still a nice edition to Quik’s resume’ proving he can still make great music.
Vic Rating 8 out of 10