When Compton rap legend DJ Quik announced on Twitter on October 28 that he was selling his production equipment and would no longer be mixing or engineering records, it was speculated that the 43-year-old hip-hop veteran was formally retiring from music. XXL spoke with Quik yesterday (October 29) to clarify his career’s status, and while he confirmed that he will no longer be working as an engineer or remixing records for new clients, he hesitates to say that he is retired from rap.
“I wouldn’t call it retirement,” Quik said. He explained that while he still has plans to get rid of his production equipment, he did not rule out producing for “real projects” for established artists. Quik’s statement was fueled by his discontent with today’s music industry model, which hasn’t paid as well—monetarily or respect-wise—as it once did.
“There is a bunch of things that I don’t understand about how this new business works,” Quik said. “Traditionally, I get paid for engineering and mixing people’s records, and there used to be a king’s ransom in that back in the day. Now, there is so little that it’s not important. There’s not enough money to warrant sitting in the studio with people and learning your trade secrets for two or three grand, it’s not worth it. So I took that off my resume. It’s off my resume so no more engineering for these new artists.”
Quik voiced that his frustrations lies with younger artists asking that he give up his time and effort to work on their projects for free, a practice that Quik finds distasteful and disrespectful of his work as a seasoned hit-maker.
“When it comes to trying to teach the new wave of people or help these guys and shit like we used to do, there’s no real record companies paying for this shit,” Quik said, explaining his reasons for not wanting to help younger artists. “These are trade secrets that I’m gonna ultimately take to my grave with me. I’m just not gonna teach people how to sell 100 million records. They are fucking out of their minds.”
While Quik seems to have little interest in helping young artists out these days, he stated that he is not actually bitter with his position as an older rap veteran in the industry.
“It’s not about being bitter,” Quik said. “It’s annoying. I’m not going to do things for free for you guys when I’ve charged five or six figures to do this for relevant, real chart-topping artists. I can’t just go and give it away for free because I love it. That’s prostitution.”
Previously: Is DJ Quik Calling It Quits?