Over the years, the Detroit-raised, Brooklyn-based rapper and producer Quelle Chris has become one of the most thoughtful, inventive, bugged-out forces on the rap underground. Last year, he teamed up with his fiancée, the New York rap veteran Jean Grae, to release Everything’s Fine, and album that practically burst with ideas and personality. And Quelle Chris’ last solo album, the 2017 sleeper Being You Is Great, I Should Be You More Often, had a whole lot going on, too. So it’s great to see that Quelle Chris has announced plans to return with a new full-length called Guns.
The new LP is coming next month, and it’ll feature contributions from Jean Grae, Mach-Hommy, Denmark Vessey, and Bilal Salaam, among others. Quelle Chris has also shared the title track, a woozy lament about a society built around firearms. The production, with its off-kilter drums and florid pianos, is what’ll grab your attention at first, but the conversational heaviness of the lyrics is what’ll hold it. Listen below.
Of the new album, Quelle Chris says:
Guns is an arsenal of both sounds, styles and subjects. At its core it’s about things that can be weaponized for good or evil, including ourselves. The words we say, what we fear, how we love, how we live, what we ingest, what we believe in, who we idolize, shit like that. Somewhat a sonic study of the question “do ‘guns’ kill people or do people kill people?” I never start an album the same way but one constant is I try to forget about everything I made before and do something different. Because I’m a fan too and I like hearing new things. I’d say we accomplished that with Guns. My goal with this and all albums is to create pieces people can enjoy, start to finish, for decades to come.
Guns is out 3/29 on Mello Music Group.