In 1991, DJ Quik exploded on the scene reppin’ his hometown of Compton on his debut release Quik Is The Name. On the strength of some solid singles (“Born And Raised In Compton” and “Tonite”) and his crisp and clean layered production, the album earned Quik a gold plaque just 4 months after its release (and by ’95 it would reach platinum status). A year and a half later, he would return with his sophomore effort Way 2 Fonky.
Success always has a way of attracting haters, so it was no surprise that along with the success of Quik Is The Name came a few new adversaries. Quik and MC Eiht (of Compton’s Most Wanted) begin to feud and the King of west coast hating, the late Tim Dog (who single handily begin the east coast /west coast feud that would leave a stain on an otherwise wonderful decade for hip-hop, after two of the era’s best emcees became casualties of the war), fired a few shots at Quik on his 1991 debut solo album Penicillin On Wax. Quik would address both of them on Way 2 Fonky, as well as addressing one of his favorite topics in-depth (pussy), and also making room to clown around with his horny crew on a few tracks.
Way 2 Fonky was both a commercial (it reached gold status three months after its release) and critical success, as Quik would continue to make a name for himself, while establishing himself as one of the game’s sickest producers.
America’z Most Complete Artist – Quik opens the show with a P-funked out instrumental (and a dope DOC vocal sample added on the hook) that he uses to brag and boast about being what the song title suggest. The song is decent, but it definitely does provide any support for Quik’s bold claim.
Mo’ Pussy – This one picks up where Quik Is The Name’s “Sweet Black Pussy” left off. Quik loops and speeds up the drums and bass line from Blowfly’s “Convoy”, as he talks explicitly about the pleasures of the power u. The lyrics and hook sound a bit juvenile but the instrumental will keep you entertained.
Way 2 Fonky – Quik hooks up a mid-tempo backdrop for the title track, as he fires shots at Tim Dog (“Straight Bronx killa!”) and takes a subliminal shot at MC Eiht in the second verse (“to you suckas in my city claiming I got a death wish, you should try again fool, you aint hittin’ near this”). Quik was and never will be mistaken for a great lyricist, so even though his rhymes sound more like pebbles being thrown than shots fired, his instrumental lives up to the song’s title.
Jus Lyke Compton – This was the lead single from Way 2 Fonky. Over a melodic mid-tempo groove, Quik talks about the “hood experiences” he encountered while touring from city to city, that he naively thought only happened in the mean streets of Compton. This one still holds up well today. Quik’s instrumental is still enjoyable and his content sounds refreshingly honest.
Quik’z Groove II (For U 2 Rip 2) – The first “Quik’z Groove” was designed to remember the dead homies. This one is designed for you to rip the shit out of your girl’s punany to, so no matter which one you listen to, “rip” will be involved (*rim shot*). Decent, but I still prefer the o.g. version.
Me Wanna Rip Your Girl – The previous instrumental sets up what is sort of the companion piece to Quik Is The Name’s “Tha Bombudd”. Quik creates a reggae tinged instrumental as he chants about how much he wants to rip, or fuck, your girl. With hindsight being 20/20, it was kind of uncomfortable towards the end of the song to hear Quik ask that you let Easy-E rip your girl. The content is juvenile but Quik’s instrumental work stands up well. I’m starting to sound like a broken record.
When You’re A Gee – Quik invites one half of the Penthouse Players Clique, Player Hamm to take part in this session, as the two run through the responsibilities and advantages of being a gangsta. Quik rips Roger Troutman’s “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” instrumental at wholesale, but it still sounds dope. This was solid.
No Bullshit – This one opens with an eerie sounding synth chord that sounds like a mix between the Inspector Gadget theme song and the opening chords to “Thriller”. Then the scarce drums drop and Quik and his buddies from 2 II None, KK and Gangsta D, discuss all the speculation on their gang affiliation. They deny being a part of any gang, even though a few years later Quik would openly admit that he is down with the Bloods, but I digress. Not a terrible song, and being its only 2 minutes long, it’s over before you get the urge to hit the skip button.
Only Fo’ Tha Money – 2nd II None join Quik for the second consecutive song, as each party discusses exploiting women to make a buck. This was hot garbage.
Let Me Rip Tonite – Quik, 2nd II None, and a few special guests (or as the liner notes credit them as, Sexy Leroy and the Chocolate Lovelitez) get their Chi-Lites on (for you kids that don’t know who the Chi-Lites are, Google them) as they attempt to croon the ladies out of their panties. The lyrics are a bit cheesy and raunchy but Quik was successful in creating a soulful seventies style soundscape (tongue twister much) that still sounds good twenty plus years later.
Niggaz Still Trippin’ – Quik invites AMG, Hi-C, 2nd II None, and newcomer, JFN (who also goes by the corniest moniker I’ve ever heard in “the Funky White Nigga”??) to join him on this cipher joint. This is a complete waste of wax and time.
Tha Last Word – Quik brings back the instrumental from “Only Fo’ Tha Money” to give his shoutouts and send a few special dedications to his adversaries, Tim Dog and MC Eiht.
If you’re looking for substance or an extremely high level display of lyricism, Way 2 Fonky is not for you. But if you want to be entertained by a sonically sound project from one of the most underrated producers in the history of hip-hop, you’ve got the right album. There’s a reason he goes by DJ, and not MC Quik. There are a few skippable moments on Way 2 Fonky, and some of the juvenile content becomes a bit redundant, but for the most part Quik’s clean production will keep you interested as you shamefully sing along to his nonsensical hooks.