“Mayday to the shayday, fall apart
AM, humans, payday, me and you
I’m tired of eating rappers, what’s next on the menu?
If I don’t think you fly then why would I pretend to?” – Quelle Chris (Greene Eyes)
I could go on and on about just how underrated and slept on the Midwest is when it comes to the amount of talented rappers that they have, yet they all go flying under the radar. In Detroit in particular, you know about Big Sean and Eminem on the mainstream level (you could throw Royce Da 5’9 in there), and I’ve brought up names like Elzhi, Black Milk, and Danny Brown up when it comes to that 2nd tier of notoriety from within the same region, but the truth is that there’s a lot of dope MCs that still don’t get their quality shine, and Quelle Chris kind of snuck up out of nowhere to grab my attention although I’d heard him before, and that was thanks to Black Milk. Quelle (rhymes with Dweli) is featured on No Poison No Paradise (Ghetto DEMF), and I saw him perform live in Toronto in 2013 with Black for the album’s tour. What I took away from witnessing him was a charismatic guy who just had fun while being on stage and interacting with the amount of people who were peppered into the audience (there weren’t a lot, although the show was amazing). Through talking to him after the show, I found that he’s a funny guy; great sense of humour, and displayed great humility – I had to buy a couple of his albums, because I liked what I heard. It was different and because I got a dose of his personality, I figured that the albums would translate well in hand.
I didn’t know prior to listening to the albums I bought that he had such an extensive discography (which you can find here), and I also didn’t know that he was a producer as well. Through listening to Shotgun & Sleek Rifle, Niggas Is Men, and Ghost At The FInish Line, I found out that he was good at both. Producers from Detroit have this advantage over most, because Motown (the Holy Grail of urban music for generations) is right in their backyard, so in a way in makes the production not necessarily better, but more distinctive. For SSR, it felt as if I was listening to en entire album that was produced by Alchemist (or at least 70% of it), and that’s not a knock on saying that he’s biting styles, but it’s so soul sample heavy that that’s the comparison I came with (Mo Money Less Problems is one of the tracks that made me think of that; Long Tokes from NIM is one of my favourite beats). There’s also the techno vibe with his beats that Black Milk has been notable for, and that was also a reason for enjoying the music he was making.
When it comes to his style of rapping, as I stated before, it’s charismatic and full of life. It’s a healthy blend (if I had to mix a shake) of Danny Brown & Royce Da 5’9, minus all of the heavy gangsterisms, sex & drug references that come with those two. His music is made to entertain, think, and at times laugh at. His flow is bouncy, so the fact that there’s variety over dope beats, that adds to replay value and overall enjoyment. An example, In Retrograde (on NIM) is a song about a song he was thinking about making, but he didn’t want to recreate because it wouldn’t be original. The sample that was used is so soothing that I had to keep it on repeat. The simplicity of that idea may not seem like much to most, but for me, I thought it was great. He does have, what you would call, a conscious mind, but there’s authenticity that’s there to be appreciated, which is why it’s refreshing to hear his music (as overused that word is). It’s not like he threw on soul samples and tried to rap like he was trying to emulate a Golden Age rapper, he’s unique, and unique is what’s needed when everyone’s complaining about people sounding the same. I look forward to listening to Quelle’s music from here on out, and hopefully more people will latch onto what he’s working with; I feel more people will appreciate the messages he conveys by just being himself – nothing corny or gimmicky. Check out his music, and most importantly, Enjoy.
That’s My Word & It STiXX