Though he doesn’t always get the credit he deserves, few artists have done as much to shape the sound of West Coast hip-hop as DJ Quik. Quik, is the ’90s G-funk legend who continues making some of the best music of his career well into his 40s, has been quiet since his last album, was released in 2014. Quik makes smart music that’s easy to listen to, both clinical and warm at once. Over the same time period Problem, a generation younger than Quik but from the same city, has released a handful of mix-tapes. Problem is a practiced and stylish-enough rapper, and he’s noticeably channeled better in short verses here than you’d find on his mix-tapes.
At six songs, the duo’s breezes by as a loosely fitting tribute to a shared hometown. “Y’all know what Rosecrans is, it’s a long ass avenue that go from the beach to the streets,” DJ Quik says coolly on the first song, describing the famous Compton through-way that the EP could soundtrack a drive down on a lazy day. Rosecrans honors G-funk traditions while also giving them subtle twists, like the jazzy vamp of “A New Nite / Rosecrans Grove,” or the airy, almost collage-like samples of “You Are Everything,” among guest spots. The first verse on the album belongs to Game, who has made a career of reminding listeners he’s from Compton and that he knows a bunch of rappers. He does both here with a word-cloud-like verse that checks off self-implicating references to Dre, Drake, Bompton, and Chuck Taylor’s.
If you find yourself on the West Side this is definitely one you want to have on the play list.