"The Art Of Sound Into Vision"
DJ Quik, curiously is an MC and producer. He comes from the West Coast and has been a omnipresent figure in his locale since he first came out in 1991. So far his career has spawned six solo LP's as well as countless guest vocalist appearances and production credits. He has reportedly sold upwards of 85 million records and now he has his first DVD out which aims to document his story so far and bring together some of his best work in one place. The DVD is called Visualism and from what I can gather has attained virtually universal acclaim. Whilst Quik may not be one of my favourite acts or even someone I would have made a point of checking for in the past I would still say that this is a tasty offering and shows how Hip Hop acts together with Fortress are producing some very compelling content.
For this DVD, Quik in his real life identity, David Blake follows a similar structure to that previously taken by Tha Liks and Xzibit, in that it is a tour of his life to date, but Quick manages to imprint his own individuality on the product. As with the other DVDs we get to see footage of Quick hanging out in his own Compton neighborhood, scenes of him working out in the studio as well as live performance and more introspective moments of reminiscence. Without wanting to diminish Quik's sincerity it could be felt that his eulogising about Tupac Shakur and Mausberg can on occasion seem contrived. We also get to see the unglamorous side of the work as he has to fulfil press commitments and undertake interviews etc.
I was quite taken with the studio scenes as that is more my background and it was interesting to see how the different artists interacted with each other. Some of the heads we get to witness laying down beats and rapping include some of the biggest and most popular names on the West Coast like, Nate Dogg, AMG, Chuckie, Hi-C, Butch Cassidy, Suga Free, J-Ro of the Alcoholiks and El DeBarge. DeBarge shows just how much people who can play instruments can bring to Hip Hop, and to someone like him, composing music and freestyling on the piano, as well as singing comes as second nature. Quik is close to falling into this category too, as he displays much of the knowledge he has acquired over the years.
The man on screen appears to have hectic energy and a love for life, if it can seem as though he is very aware of the camera and sometimes unnaturally plays up to it. We are told how he started as a DJ and built his career, which now encapsulates many businesses including a record label. The voice over though is more calculated and thought through.
The DVD as an overall package is well put together and compiled, and there is also some extras which are worth checking out. There are four video clips for his singles "Tonite", "Born And Raised In Compton", "Quik Is The Name" and the more recent "Trouble". Not having access to Sky and all the music channels it is great to see the videos I wouldn't otherwise get the chance to see. There is also a stills gallery and some extra scenes which are pretty much just there to fill up the DVD and account for an additional 13 minutes or so. Some could be done without, and others would have fitted in the main body of the main 85 minute programme, but then equally, the viewer would then not have the interactive elements.
The picture and sound quality (Dolby and DTS 5.1) are of a high standard and both come through clear. This is a music documentary which even non
Quik fans will appreciate.