DJ Quik and JasonMartin Discuss Their New Album ‘Chupacabra’ and Their Status As Veterans In the Rap Game

Their second collaborative project features Lil Jon, The Game, Big Hit, and more.

In hip-hop, DJ Quik and JasonMartin have established themselves as one of the best duos on the scene. Quik, a legendary rapper and producer with almost four decades of success, and JasonMartin, a revered MC and acclaimed songwriter, have displayed an organic chemistry since they first forged their partnership. For over a decade, the Compton natives have garnered a cult-like following for their knocking beats and hardcore rhymes.

In 2017, they released their first project, Rosecrans: The Album, a well-received LP with innovative music that is unapologetically West Coast in its sound and lyricism.

Seven years later, they return with their highly-anticipated album Chupacabra, just in time for the summer.

Quik and JasonMartin spoke to about how they first met and the chemistry they cultivated over the years.

“We met in 2008 when we both were working on Snoop Dogg's Ego Trip album. That was my first writing gig and Quik came in to mix the project. With us both being from Compton, we linked up and kept working throughout the years, JasonMartin said. “On our first project Rosecans, we did it on a whim and people really liked it.”

He also shared how he’s still in awe that he gets to work with Quik, one of his idols growing up.

“I still don't believe it, as I’m sitting with Quik. I feel blessed for this opportunity to coexist with one of my heroes," he explained. “It’s nothing like it. The fact that I get to work with the people who inspired me to become who I am is all I need.”

Interestingly, after all of Quik’s groundbreaking career, he was very close to retiring from the music industry.

“When you think about it, I've been pounding the pavement for over 30 years. I started to see things change and something was pulling my passion in another direction. It was almost like I got tired of doing music,” Quik said. “You would think I wouldn't but it just got boring to me. I started looking at my equipment one day, and I was like, “Man, I hate doing beats. It's a million motherf**kers doing beats. What I’m doing a beat for?” 

Eventually, he purchased a new home and “packed his equipment in f**king garage.”

But his love of music pulled him back after hearing some of JasonMartin's ideas. They worked for 45 days straight to complete the album, which he said didn’t feel like work.

“I started to jump on the drum machine and the synthesizer here and there. He brought in a dope musician named Dominic Sanders who reminded me of myself when we were doing this sh*t real tough on Profile Records back in the day,” Quik recalled.

Quik also noted that when he got back into making music, other opportunities began to come his way such as TV and film scores, and he was asked to mix Wiz Khalifa's new album.

“I went from, “F**k this sh*t” to getting a record deal in my retirement. I need to retire more often,” Quik laughed.

One of the tracks from Chupacabra, which will be released on June 7, is “Eazy Call,” which features The Game and Big Hit, the father of super producer Hit-Boy. The song's style and flow are an ode to the late rap legend Eazy E. and sample “Heartz of Men,” which Quik produced for Tupac Shakur on his classic All Eyez On Me album. It’s a certified West Coast banger.

“That was one of the first records we did. After we listened to it for a few days, Quik was like, “I know how I'm a rap on it.” I actually have the video of him recording it and it was just special to watch because we talk about Eazy E a lot. It was dope and moment,” JasonMartin recalled. “Game came over and heard it and hopped on it. And I'm just a huge fan of Hit-Boy and Big-Hit’s story.”

“Heartz of Men” was one of my favorite tracks that I produced, but it's not often mentioned as one of the top ones on All Eyez On Me. I'm okay with that. So I started sampling my own records,” Quik added.

“Workout” with Lil Jon and Rodney O, is another heater and is currently featured on ESPN’s coverage of the NBA playoffs. JasonMartin spoke about how they came up with the song and how it landed on the biggest sports platform.

“Rodney O is Quik’s business partner and he’s been there since the beginning of this process,” JasonMartin said. “I have a good friend who’s a producer on NBA Countdown at ESPN and I send my friends music I’m working on. He reached and said, ‘Yo, this “Workout” is crazy!  Then, they used it.”

“As far as Lil Jon. I was thinking about who could turn this sh*t up to the next level and nobody turns it up like him. He hits me randomly like, “Yo, I'm about to send you over something, but Usher is rushing me.” A week later, he pops up at the Super Bowl. For him to take time out of his schedule when he's doing the biggest show of his life, lets me know about the synergy of our movement and how people will do anything for Quik.”

Above all, Quik and JasonMartin want to be true to the vision they are executing. Instead of chasing the latest music trends, they are committed to making music that they love and enjoy.

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