DJ Quik and Suga Free - Fox Theater Pomona - July 20, 2013
DJ Quik and Suga Free
Nick Nuk'em DJ Quik
On Saturday night, loc-wearing hoodsters, K-Day fanatics and plenty of ladies found their way to Pomona's vintage venue, Fox Pomona, for what should have been the recapturing of sentiments that lie 15 years back via the sounds of DJ Quik and SugaFree. Just down the street from the swap-meet that hosted, the hometown hero, SugaFree's earliest performances was a house full of concert-goers who'd go home without getting the chance to watch Pomona's most popular pimp display how far he'd come since those days. But before a drawn out interlude that soon revealed itself as time-filler to sort of technical issues, DJ Quik and SugaFree were putting one hell of a show. And for a while, the time-filling antics that closed the show were quite entertaining.
At 5'11" (6'0" with shoes), the legendary producer/rapper DJ Quik stood behind a turntable to start a set full of his classics. It was statement that'd be rendered superfluous if it was still the late 80s when Quik first got started and it was normal for DJs to rock the crowd while jockeying the music. Standing in front of the DJ, with more energy than a 4 year-old in a McDonald's ball pit, was SugaFree--an artist who might've had a more of a shot at mainstream success had it not been for his pimp lifestyle and lyrics (the kind of thing most emcee's have only rapped about).
Quik, real name David Blake, broke into tracks like "Way 2 Fonky" and "Let Me Rip Tonite" as a delighted SugaFree's busted out his best James Brown type shimmy at his side. Soon thereafter, Quik--his hair permed out to silky perfection-- engaged in some pimp-like behavior of his own including champagne sipping and merengue style two-stepping that made him look Dominican than uh, Comptonian. The show's dope-a-meter was rising at an awesome rate. At one point, SugaFree served a female fan a shot of Hennessey with the bottle tucked between his legs.
SugaFree then went into a few verses of his own, most notably the one on "Down, Down, Down" that captured his style of cramming lyrics into measures composed by Quik, accompanied by a seemingly-menacing stomping around the stage that was really comedic. And just when the coveted West Coast turn-up was becoming oh so real, issues with DJ Quik's music set-up changed the course of the night's festivities.
A small conference between the two veterans on the stage hinted at the possibility that things were not running as planned. Minutes later, DJ Quik's teenage son, a rapper who went by "Lil Dave," hit the stage for a few songs of his own. Seeing that the two had just went through more than 30 minutes of straight performing, it seemed that this was just a small break in the headliners' scheduled two-hour set, but in reality, the twilight of the night's performance had begun.