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Studio album by DJ Quik
Released November 10, 1998 (1998-11-10) (US)
Recorded 1997-1998
Skip Sailor Recordings
(Los Angeles, California)
Genre Hip hop, R&B, funk, Jazz
Length 70:10
Label Arista
Producer DJ Quik (also exec.), G-One, Sheppard Lane (exec.)
DJ Quik chronology
Safe + Sound
Balance & Options
Singles from Rhythm-al-ism
  1. "You'z a Ganxta"
    Released: July 14, 1998 (1998-07-14)
  2. "Hand In Hand"
    Released: September 29, 1998 (1998-09-29)
  3. "Down, Down, Down"
    Released: December 22, 1998 (1998-12-22)

Rhythm-al-ism is the fourth studio album by American West Coast hip hop recording artist and producer DJ Quik, released on November 10, 1998, by Arista Records and was certified Platinum by the RIAA on July 7, 1999. It peaked at number 63 on the US Billboard 200 chart. He recorded the album at Skip Sailor Recordings in Los Angeles, and worked with producer G-One. The album featured the singles "You'z a Ganxta", "Hand In Hand" featuring 2nd II None & El DeBarge, and "Down, Down, Down" featuring Suga Free, Mausberg & AMG.

Background and recording[edit]

In an interview with Complex, DJ Quik spoke on the background and recording process of Rhythm-al-ism stating, “With the Rhythm-al-ism album, even though it didn't have a home because Profile Records was going through something and I was fighting them for back royalties and they had me on suspension because they didn't want to pay me. I understood, those were some big checks, I wouldn't want to pay DJ Quik either. "I think that's when I lost my rough edges, I lost the gangster and became like an R&B pretty boy. "The name Rhythm-al-ism alone tells you what I was doing. I was mixing up rhythms. I was meshing R&B with hip-hop and jazz. And a little bit of comedy. He stated he loves the intro on Rhythm-al-ism. The Rhythm-al-ism (Intro) is funny. I was trying to do rock and roll-Grunge-metal and end up dying at the end of the song, hyperventilating, passing out. DJ Quik also spoke on working with El DeBarge on the album stating, that album was really about him. I was going for Q4, I was going to do 'Safe & Sound 2,' after 'Safe + Sound.' But when I met him—I met him at the House of Blues. He was everything that I thought he was, just seeing him on TV and listening to him on the radio. "He showed me what I was doing wrong. He would stop me like, 'Naw, man you're messing up.' I needed that. He taught me how to be a better producer. How to be more multi-faceted and taught me arrangement "Even though our music is passe. Right now, if this was still the gangster rap era, I could produce a record that's so awesome it'll rival all the big hip-hop records. And it's just because of some of the techniques that El Debarge taught me. DJ Quik said that he had the time of my life working on Rhythmalism.[1]


Rhythm-al-ism incorporates Hip hop, funk, soul, r&b, rock and reggae. "Hand in Hand", "I Useta Know Her", "Whateva U Do", and "Bombudd 2" sound like they come from different areas of music but all from one artist. After a 2 and a half year hiatus since the criminal minded "Safe + Sound", DJ Quik returns with a very dimensional record. It shows growth, Quik focuses on one thing here, and that's being a musician, shedding his gangbangin image in the song, "You'z a Gangxta". The album contains no interludes at all, just 16 tracks of music containing classic Quik songs like, "We Still Party", "So Many Wayz", "Down, Down, Down", and "You'z a Ganxta". Quik was accompanied by his long time collaborators 2nd II None, AMG, and Suga Free, he even collaborated with Snoop Dogg and Nate Dogg for the anthem, "The Pussy Medley". Quik even put out some nice raps like on "You'z a Ganxta" and the adrenaline filled song "Speed". G-One also lends his production talents on 4 tracks as well.[2]

Critical response[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars link
Los Angeles Times 3/4 stars link
The Source 4/5 stars link
RapReviews.com 9/10 stars link
USA Today 3/4 stars link

Rhythm-al-ism received mixed reviews from contemporary music critics. At Allmusic rated the album at 2 and a half stars and wrote that Considering its guest list -- packed with enough star power (El DeBarge, Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg, Peter Gunz, Hi-C, AMG, and 2nd II None) to fill a "Wrestlemania" card -- Rhythm-al-ism promises more than it actually delivers. Its cleverest moments ("Medley for a 'V' (The Pussy Medley)") address colloquialisms for genitalia and all the wonderful things it's good for. "Down, Down, Down," "I Useta Know Her," and "No Doubt" (rhymes with: "I got something for your mouth") are plain nasty. Just what rap needs: one more guy boasting about his majestic penis and how good he is at treating women like gutter trash.[3] Los Angeles Times gave the album 3 stars and wrote, On "Rhythm-alism," he delivers his richest music to date, meshing lush keyboard, flute, guitar, organ, piano and drum patterns. Paradoxically, these serene, polished sounds serve as the backdrop for the high-pitched rapper's signature subject matter: explicit sexual romps with friends AMG, Hi-C, Suga Free and others. Unlike the many rap outfits whose freaky tales sound menacing and evil, the bubbly beats backing these narratives make them sound friendly and fun, even wholesome. Because the music is so enjoyable, it's easy to overlook the collection's clever wordplay.[4] RapReviews gave the album 9/10 stars and wrote "Rhythm-al-ism" may have been the closest Quik ever got to making a commercial splash. "You'z a Gangsta" and "Hand In Hand" were catchy singles that made it onto radio waves across the country and less radio friendly tracks such as "Medley For A V" were bumping out of car stereos. The album itself is nothing new for Quik, filled with funky beats that only Quik can make and his smooth flow, "Rhythm-al-ism" was the quintessential West Coast Party. With all the compliments thrown Quik's way so far you can deduce that the man is talented and makes good music. Throughout the years Quik has crafted a style of music that, while taking elements from Funk, Soul, and other genres, is all his own. "Rhythm-al-ism" exhibits all the characteristics that make Quik the underground star he is. It's a recommended addition to anybody's collection and a testament to the fact that though outshined by its East Coast counterparts at times, the West Coast keeps partying as strong as ever.[5] The Smoking Section wrote that DJ Quik proved he could step outside the dilapidated cardboard box of G-funk, and put out an album showcasing that there could really be life after red rags, low-lows and gun-talk. With his life straightened out, along with those flowing locks he flaunts, a grown Quik laces Rhythm-al-ism with cuts consisting of sexual escapades (to an extent, this was still somewhat uncommon for G’d up Westcoast rappers), flossing (before it was the sole thing mainstream rappers spoke on), long lost loves and finally finding his way on a road where wrong turns are more than common in the place he was born and raised. Rhythm-al-ism can be viewed in so many ways. It’s growth. It’s beautiful. It’s positive. It’s fresh. It’s ground-breaking. Even today, it still sounds new. Despite what anyone could ever say about the DJ Quik, his appearance, or how he lost sight of where he came from, this album is the crown jewel of his catalogue. His magnum opus. On a whole other level, his Chronic. Most importantly, though, it was a necessary stepping stone for one the more talented men in the history of Hip-Hop, and an album that many of today’s one-dimensional artists could truly take note from.[6]

Commercial performance[edit]

The album debuted at number sixty three on the US Billboard 200 and spent 29 weeks on the chart. It also debuted at number thirteen on the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts and spent 39 weeks on the chart as well.[7] The album was certified Platinum on July 27, 1999 by the RIAA for selling over 1,500,000 copies.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Rhythm-al-ism (Intro)"   David Blake DJ Quik 1:40
2. "We Still Party"   Blake DJ Quik 5:13
3. "So Many Wayz" (featuring 2nd II None & Peter Gunz) George Archie, Darius Barnett, Blake, Kelton L. McDonald, Peter Pankey DJ Quik, G-One (co.) 5:41
4. "Hand In Hand" (featuring 2nd II None & El DeBarge) Barnett, Blake, Eldra Patrick DeBarge, McDonald DJ Quik 4:18
5. "Down, Down, Down" (featuring Suga Free, AMG & Mausberg) Blake, Johnny Burns, Jason Lewis, Dejuan Walker DJ Quik 4:43
6. "You'z a Ganxta"   Blake DJ Quik 4:21
7. "I Useta Know Her" (featuring AMG) Blake, Lewis DJ Quik 3:50
8. "No Doubt" (featuring Playa Hamm & Suga Free) Blake, Wilbert Milo, Walker DJ Quik 4:22
9. "Speed"   Blake, Lewis, Maurice White, Verdine White DJ Quik 3:20
10. "Whateva U Do"   Archie, Blake, Smokey Robinson DJ Quik, G-One (co.) 7:47
11. "Thinkin' Bout U"   Blake DJ Quik 4:04
12. "El's Interlude" (featuring El DeBarge) Blake, DeBarge DJ Quik 4:06
13. "Medley For A "V" (The Pussy Medley)" (featuring Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg, Hi-C, 2nd II None, AMG & El DeBarge) Archie, Barnett, Blake, Calvin Broadus, DeBarge, Nathaniel Hale, Lewis, McDonald, Crawford Wilkerson DJ Quik, G-One (co.) 6:26
14. "Bombudd II"   Blake DJ Quik 2:59
15. "Get 2Getha Again" (featuring 2nd II None, AMG, Hi-C & El DeBarge) Barnett, Blake, DeBarge, Lewis, McDonald, Wilkerson DJ Quik 4:40
16. "Reprise (Medley For A "V")"   Archie, Blake DJ Quik, G-One (co.) 2:40
Total length:

 • (co.) Co-producer

Sample credits
  • "We Still Party" contains samples of "Verb: That's What's Happening" by Zachary Sanders.
  • "Speed" contains samples of "Mom" by Earth, Wind & Fire.
  • "Whateva U Do" contains a sample of "So In Love" by Smokey Robinson.


Credits for Rhythm-al-ism adapted from liner notes.[8]



Song Chart (1998–99) Peak
"You'z a Ganxta" US Billboard Hot R&B Airplay[11] 66
US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs[12] 59
"Hand in Hand" US Billboard Hot R&B Airplay[13] 54
US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs[14] 66
US Billboard Rhythmic Top 40[15] 38
"Down, Down, Down" US Billboard Hot R&B Airplay[16] 51
US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs[17] 59


Region Certification Sales/shipments
United States (RIAA)[18] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format
United States[19] November 10, 1998 Arista Records CD, Cassette, LP
Canada[20] November 23, 1998 Arista Records CD, Cassette
United Kingdom[21] November 24, 1998 Arista Records CD, Cassette