Backbeat is continuing to count down the twenty most fabled moments in Denver music history. Today we take a look back at when an early-'90s DJ Quik show at Mammoth Events Center turned into a bit of a melee.
"But still my story ain't over cause I got one more to tell/And the people of Colorado, they know it well/It was all in the news, and if you don't remember/I had this show I did in Denver." So begins the last verse of "Jus Lyke Compton," one of the standout tracks from DJ Quik's 1992 album, Way 2 Fonky. The song is a hatchet piece about infamous shows the rapper had played in places like Oakland, St. Louis, San Antonio and Denver, where he appeared "in a bunk-ass skating rink," as he put it.
"Jus Lyke Compton" (jump to 3:10)
I had this show I did in Denver With a punk ass promoter in a bunk ass skating rink Bitches was loving it, but niggas was shoving and shit To the front of the stage to throw they gang signs But I'm getting paid, so I didn't pay it no mind Then I poured out my brew onto their face and chests Then they start throwing soda, and fucking up my guests When it was over two niggas needed stitches Got cracked in they jaw for being punk ass bitches Now Denver (Is just like Compton) Yeah, ya'll, Denver (they want to be like Compton, bitch)
If DJ Quik was not too fond of the Centennial State, he had good reason. On October 13, 1991, the rapper had a show at the Mammoth Events Center (now the Fillmore Auditorium). According to newspaper reports from the time, gang members began taunting the rapper at the show.
Quik reportedly responded by throwing gang signs and then 40-ounce beer bottles back at them. A melee ensued, and two hours later, Denver police arrested Quik (aka David M. Blake) at his hotel near Stapleton. He was charged with misdemeanor assault.
Fast-forward to almost exactly a year later. On October 19, 1992, Quik arrived at the Denver County courthouse to a crowd of autograph-seeking fans. At least two process servers were there, too, waiting to hand the rapper notices that he was being sued by a fan and the show's promoter. Quik had initially tried to dodge the servers by riding the courthouse elevator up and down between floors, but he was eventually served.
Almost as soon as Quik's criminal trial began, though, it was over. The prosecution's case disintegrated, as one witness who'd sworn to prosecutors that Quik threw the bottle reversed course, saying on the witness stand that he was no longer so sure. Quik and three other witnesses said he didn't throw any bottles. The judge sided with the rapper.
Then came the getback. Quik released Way 2 Fonky the same year. The album went gold, and "Jus Lyke Compton" was a hit.