Combine Dr. Dre's fat-bottom beats and Eazy-E's rapid mouth, then stir in a bit of Mantronix or Bomb the Bass' innovative style with a dash of streetwise wit that's entirely his own, and you've got DJ Quik, a rapper/producer who practically defines "underappreciated." Only two months before Born and Raised in Compton: The Greatest Hits hit the streets, Quik issued the widely ignored Greatest Hits Live at the House of Blues, an exciting release that capped off a trilogy of interesting and independent releases that everyone slept on. This collection stops at 2000's major-label Balance & Options, and it focuses on Quik's own vocal cuts rather than his productions for others, but it's the tightest argument yet that his name should be household. While it's a shame the Zapp-flavored title cut from Safe & Sound is missing, the rest of the selections are right on. Furious and sometimes filthy hits from the early days like "Born and Raised in Compton," "Jus Lyke Compton," and the wicked "Tonite" sit next to latter-day numbers like "Down, Down, Down" and "You'z a Ganxta," both of which deal in leaner funk and point to the man's 21st century output. While those who want to make a little more of a commitment to Quik are better off finding the heftier The Best of DJ Quik: Da Finale from 2002 -- all but two tracks from here are repeated -- this is way better than 2004's Platinum & Gold Collection. Hopefully the world will listen this time and recognize his crucial contribution to West Coast hip-hop, which -- those in the know can tell you -- is still going strong.
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AllMusic Review by David Jeffries
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