Is "Amerika's Most Complete Artist" also a complete diva? Last night's Ruby Skye show --featuring Quik, Kurupt, the Kev Choice Ensemble, and Trackademicks--was, from the look of things, a wholly entertaining concert, featuring not one but two live bands, two classic West Coast artists, and an undercard of some of the Bay's finest emerging talent. Appearing onstage in a tuxedo, a ponytailed Quik definitely gave his fans their $30 worth (though the same could not be said of the venue's $7 12-oz. beers), even if he was outshined somewhat by Kurupt (whose classics, among them "New York, New York," XXplosive," and "Ain't No Fun (If the Homies Can't Have None)" earned a more enthusiastic audience response than Quik's "Tonite" and "Born and Raised in Compton").
However, according to ASD's trusty spies, at the rapper-producer may also have been somewhat of an egotistical playa-hater behind-the-scenes. Apparently, Quik thought he was James Bond and Frank Sinatra all rolled into one, delaying the opening of the show so he could take a photo shoot in the venue lobby, refusing to allow the other acts to sound-check, and not allowing the local musicians to store their gear in the backstage room.
Despite Quik's attempts to sabotage his opening acts, even without a sound check, the KCE outplayed Quik's Blaqkout band, who were competent but fairly listless. The closest they got to stretching out was a long vamp on "Tonite," which was no match for Choice's classically-inspired piano riffs. Not to take anything away from Quik, but Choice actually seemed like a more complete artist, in that he seamlessly transitioned from rapping to bandleading to being an instrumentalist, while Quik just rapped or posed for the crowd.
Quik's onstage banter offered some hints as to his conceitedness; at one point, he remarked, "that's okay, my hair appointment isn't until tomorrow." The off-the-cuff remark may have been intended as a joke--I'm sure it was hot onstage, especially with a tux on--but in light of the allegations of backstage bullying, it seems more insightful than perhaps Quik intended.