DJ Quik is a giant of West Coast hip-hop. With 1995’s Safe + Sound, he scaled new levels of musical magnificence with his signature new age P-Funk/laconic G-Funk. A quintessential, sun-scorched LA album, this is pretty much essential. Typical for mid-90s albums the original vinyl copies are now rare so here’s the Be With re-issue, complete with “Tanqueray”, the hidden track from the original CD release. A preternaturally gifted producer/rapper, DJ Quik has produced scores of LA gangsta rap classics. He’s released platinum and gold records of his own, as well as helped craft them for the likes of Tupac, Snoop Dogg, and Dr Dre. Quik has always been quirkier and more interesting than his gangsta rap peers, both musically and lyrically. An old-school funk producer at heart, he’s also incredibly nice on the mic. His raps often deal in boasts, jokes and good times but also cover his beefs, his trials and his trauma. Partying and pain, all mixed up. DJing and producing hype beat tapes from age 14, Quik’s tracks blended the languid funk and rubbery synths of Zapp and George Clinton with a gangsta aesthetic, creating a more danceable foil to Compton’s more typical nihilistic hedonism.