"Hey Playa (Moroccan Blues)"
Released: May 5, 2009
"Whatcha Wan Do"
Released: May 5, 2009
Blaqkout (stylized as "BlaQKout") is a collaboration album by rapper/record producerDJ Quik and rapper Kurupt. It is completely produced by DJ Quik. The album debuted at #61 on the Billboard 200, selling 8,800 copies its first week.
While putting the finishing touches on Snoop Dogg’s acclaimed Ego Trippin album in early 2008, DJ Quik had an idea. The rapper-producer-musician-entrepreneur wanted to do a full-length album with Kurupt, the Dogg Pound member and Snoop Dogg affiliated-rapper he’d known since Death Row Records’ mid-1990s heyday and had worked with sparingly over the years. The inspiritation for the name of the album was taken from the Method Man & Redman collaborational albums Blackout! and Blackout! 2 since this was indeed a collaboration album. It was modified to include the letter Q to represent DJ Quik and the letter K to represent Kurupt. Kurupt revealed the album was recorded within 6 months.
Blaqkout received mostly positive reviews from contemporary music critics. Allmusic rated the album with 3 and a half stars and wrote Just like the similarly titled 2009 album from Method Man and Redman, DJ Quik and Kurupt's Blaqkout is a throwback triumph that succeeds thanks to the hip-hop veterans' superior chemistry and informal attitude. Anyone expecting a courageous game changer will be disappointed by all the swaggering, sexual bragging, and irresponsible pimping the duo frontload onto the effort, but coming to terms with the overall weekend attitude is quick and easy, thanks to rock-solid hooks and Quik's production. On "Ohh!" he creates a head-bobbing backing track out of chopped-up vocals and Smooth jazz keyboards, offering a G-funk alternative to Timbaland's "Indian Flute." Key track "Do You Know" finds him blending blissed-out ambience and a Soul II Soul hook, but "F**k Y'All" employs Quik's classic formula with that West Coast funk over thumping bass.The A.V. Club rated the album with a (B+) and wrote DJ Quik has long been one of the most consistent producers in Hip hop, as well as a skilled (though sometimes ridiculously sexist) MC. But he’s seldom been in the lean, adventurous form he explores on BlaQKout, a collaboration with Dogg Pound member Kurupt. Quik’s tracks are head-turning throughout: The blistering single “9X Outta 10” features Kurupt at his steeliest and takes the minimal slam-beats aesthetic of Clipse’s 2002 hit “Grindin'” to a lush new place, especially when a couple of cut-up female vocals enter the mix. “Do You Know” is cinematic soul with his usual easy-gliding groove slipping around under it; “Ohh!” calls up early-’80s Zapp and early-’00s 2-step garage (more cut-up vocals); North African overtones spice the heavy stomp of “Hey Playa (Moroccan Blues).” The lyrics aren’t going to win awards for thematic originality, and there’s an especially egregious spoken-word bit poorly justifying the excessive use of the word “bitch,” but most of the time, Quik and Kurupt sound invigorated by each other. Or as Quik ends a verse in “Hey Playa,” in slow motion, “I’m that much quicker.”The Phoenix gave the album 4/4 stars and wrote LA hip-hop has two threads, and DJ Quik pulls both of them. The first is g-funk, a production style that relies on deep, open grooves and an endless parade of funk samples. The second is West Coast backpacker rap, which is what happens when guys with enormous vocabularies smoke a lot of weed. The fact that Quik has inhabited both worlds for two decades is a pretty nifty trick: he can go "out there" without disappearing completely, and he can talk about problems in the ghetto without sounding as if he lived at the Gap. On BlaQKout, his collaboration with the Philadelphia/LA MC Kurupt, his sonics range far and wide. "Do You Know" has a glamorous sweep that suggests something like wise retrospection, and it leads right into "Watcha Wan Do," which could be the funky soundtrack to a Zelda game. Eventually, there's "9X Outta 10," which sounds as if somebody had handed turntables to the Terminator. This one has Kurupt rapping as if he were hypnotized — "It's gonna start again where it started at/Ended up, and restart again." It all might seem like preamble when you finally get to "Jupiter's Critic and the Mind of Mars," which may be the weirdest slice of rap genius since "A Milli." Quik has some of Prince's little-guy arrogance, and here it's nearly schizoid: "It's character, you miss it?/It's America, you visit?/Did you get on a boat without a ticket?" Uh, yes? What? This makes him sound crazier than he actually is, though. Quik knows what he's doing. You can hear it on every track of this symphonic mini-masterpiece.
BlaQKout appeared on several critics' year-end top albums lists. Rhapsody deemed it the 20th best album of 2009. The album was also ranked at number 25 by Pitchfork Media. The Factual Opinion ranked the album at number 15.