Album Review | Quelle Chris – Guns

This album was released on March 29th this year. I haven’t heard any of the singles from this project, so I’m going into it completely blind. I wasn’t really familiar with Quelle Chris until he dropped his 2017 album, Being You Is Great, I Wish I Could Be You More Often. After listening to that, I went back and checked out most of his other albums. The only ones I haven’t heard are Blue Mondays & Jock Sin Six Beat Tape. I also haven’t heard those Awesome in Outer Space projects. I like all of his albums though. Shotgun & Sleek Rifle was good. Niggas Is Men was great. I didn’t like Ghost at the Finish Line quite as much, but it was still really good. The album he did with Chris Keys was slightly better in my opinion. Emphasis on the word “slightly.” I liked Lullabies for the Broken Brain too even though it was just an instrumental album. Being You Is Great is still my favorite solo album from him. Niggas Is Men is up there though. The album he did last year with Jean Grae is probably the most popular thing he’s ever done. That’s not surprising to me at all because it’s definitely the best thing he’s ever been involved in. It’s amazing. It’s my second favorite album of 2018 honestly. I didn’t actually hear it until earlier this year though, so that’s why I didn’t talk about it before. Anyway, I’m expecting this project to be one of the best albums of the year. Or at least the best album from March. Hopefully my expectations aren’t too high. Every song is self produced, except where noted.

1. Spray & Pray produced by Dane

The producer for this track is just credited as “Dane,” but Quelle Chris has worked with someone named Dane Orr in the past. I’m not sure if it’s the same guy. It probably is. Anyway, this song also features additional vocals from Bilal Salaam. The song is pretty dope. I guess the whole album is gonna be about guns. Well… I guess that should’ve been obvious lol. There’s only one verse on this track, and it’s pretty much just Chris describing his relationship with guns. I enjoyed this song a lot. It’s not amazing or anything, but I don’t really have any issues with it. The production was dope, and the background vocals from Bilal Salaam were a nice touch too.  This shit is dope.

2. Guns produced by Chris Keys

Ah shit. This piano driven beat from Chris Keys is phenomenal. I love it. The first verse from Quelle Chris was awesome. The way he’s rapping about America’s fascination with guns is really cool.

Kelly lit her school up like it’s 4th of July
Where she from, them twenty-twos more patriotic than pie
New year, shoot up the sky, shooters boot up and ride
Po-pos show up and fire, no, there’s nowhere to hide

This shit is fire. The hook is really good. This shit is really smooth. The second verse wasn’t quite as entertaining as the first one to me, but it was still really good. There are apparently some additional vocals from Jean Grae on this song, but I didn’t hear her. Maybe I’ll notice it on repeat listens. Anyway, I don’t really have any gripes with this song at all. I love it. It’s dope af to me.

3. Color of the Day

This is pretty much just an interlude. The production is really cool though. These are all the lyrics in the song…

Walking while black
Shopping while black
Swimming while black
Driving while black
Black, black, black

I’m not really judging this as a normal song since it’s less than thirty seconds long. I did enjoy it though. It’s one of those interludes that’s enjoyable enough to not get deleted. It’s dope to me.

4. Mind Ya Bidness

The way the previous track segues into this one is really smooth. This beat is fucking fire too. It’s hard as hell. This shit actually sounds kinda gangsta. I mean, compared to the rest of Quelle Chris’ material, this is one of the most “hood” sounding tracks he’s done. He actually does it really well. I tend to associate him with nerdier rappers like Open Mike Eagle & MC Paul Barman, so I wasn’t expecting to hear something like this. This shit is awesome though. I could actually see ScHoolboy Q rapping on this song. He would sound great over this beat. The first verse was great. The second one was really good too. I think this is another fantastic song. I don’t really have any nitpicks. I mean, I guess the hook MAYBE lasts a little too long. Not really though. I love this shit. The way he included that Donald Trump quote at the end of the song was really smart too. This shit is dope af.

5. It’s the Law (Farewell Goodbye Addio, Uncle Tom) featuring Ugly Boy Modeling

I’m not familiar with this Ugly Boy Modeling artist. At first I thought he might be related to Handsome Boy Modeling School, but it seems like he was just inspired by them. Anyway, the song starts with what sounds like an audio clip from a movie. I’m not exactly sure what it’s from. It’s some cac talking about how God is white, and that’s why white people prevail over all other races. Fuck that guy. The singing before the first verse reminds me of Busta Rhymes’ vocals on Woo Hah!! It seems like Quelle Chris has more of a political theme to his music on this album than usual. He’s had more conscious stuff here and there in the past, but this entire project seems to be about America’s fetishization of firearms. The first verse from Quelle Chris is real as fuck. The second verse is great too. Ugly Boy Modeling killed that final verse. He played along with the theme of the song perfectly. This shit is dope af.

6. Wild Minks featuring Mach-Hommy

There’s a shit ton of hype surrounding this Mach-Hommy guy. I haven’t really been impressed by what I’ve heard from him though. To be fair, I’ve only heard him on that DJ Muggs album that dropped last year. I don’t think he’s bad. I just don’t get why everyone seems to think he’s so amazing. He was good on that 2017 Armand Hammer album though. I didn’t mind him on that track. Hopefully his contribution to this song will change my opinion of him for the better. Anyway, the beat on this track is fucking awesome. I love it. The first verse from Quelle Chris was really dope. It had some biblical references that I don’t really get. I enjoyed the verse a lot though. Ehhh… The second verse from Mach-Hommy was cool I guess. I’m still not really impressed. Dude seems pretty average to me. His verse was fine though. I didn’t mind it at all. Overall, this might be my least favorite track so far. I like the production a lot, and Quelle Chris’ verse was cool. Nothing else about it really blew me away though. However, I definitely enjoyed the song. It’s still dope to me even though I don’t like it quite as much as the other tracks.

7. Box of Wheaties performed by Crown Nation featuring Maurese & Hands co-produced by Dane

This song has a pretty smooth instrumental. It’s not amazing or anything, but I like it quite a bit. The title of this song reminds me of that Breakfast of Champions track that was on Everything’s Fine for obvious reasons. I’m not really sure if they’re related at all. The hook on this track is nothing special, but it works. The first verse from Quelle Chris was cool. It wasn’t super impressive, but I enjoyed it. Denmark Vessey’s verse was better in my opinion. That line about Shad Moss being on the cover of Rich Nigga Monthly was hilarious. Well, “hilarious” is a major exaggeration. I thought it was slightly humorous. It didn’t make me crack a smile, but I think it’s kinda funny. There are some additional vocals from Shaka King on this track, which were cool. This is definitely one of the less interesting songs on the album for me. I still like it, but it’s not as good as the other tracks in my opinion. I guess Maurese & Hands just contributed some instrumentation on this track because I don’t think I heard any vocal contributions from them. That’s cool. Anyway, I like this song. I don’t love it. It’s dope though.

8. PSA Drugfest 2003 (Sleeveless Minks)

The whole gun theme of this album seems to have been mitigated on these last couple of tracks. The beat on this track is pretty cool. It’s not amazing or anything, but I like it. The first verse from Chris on this track is dope as hell. As anyone could’ve predicted from the title, he’s rapping about drugs. That line about how the weed “turn yo eyes Fetty Wap” was dope as hell. The hook is nothing special, but it works. The second verse was really dope. This is a really good song. I think I like it more than the previous couple of tracks. I’m not blown away like I was with most of the earlier songs, but I definitely enjoyed this quite a bit. This shit is dope.

9. Sunday Mass featuring Bilal Salaam

Goddamn. This track is amazing. It’s just a quick 16 bar verse in which some of the more recent mass shootings in the U.S. are listed. I think that’s Bilal Salaam rapping. I love this shit. The production is very minimalistic, but I think the stripped back instrumental works really well with the short length of the song. It’s less than a minute long. It’s probably meant to be an interlude, but I enjoyed it more than some of the other songs.

Omar Mateen shot forty-nine at Pulse; gory
Islam and homophobia obfuscated the true story

I love this shit. It’s dope af.

10. Straight Shot featuring Cavalier, Bilal Salaam, Eldar Djangirov & James Acaster co-produced by Chris Keys

I’m pretty sure this was one of the singles from this album. I wasn’t familiar with this James Acaster guy before listening to this album. He’s a British comedian. I just watched a clip of him doing stand-up on The Late Late Show with James Corden, and it was pretty terrible to be honest. However to be fair, my biggest issue with that video is the audience. For some reason they decided to clap after almost every fucking sentence. Every time they laughed I was like “WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU LAUGHING? THAT’S NOT FUCKING FUNNY.” They literally laughed after he said “hi” to them. At first I thought it was just me, but most of the people who commented on the video seemed to be annoyed by the audience as well. I’m sure he’s a fine comedian, but that video in particular was terrible. Anyway, the previous track transitions really smoothly into this one. This beat is absolutely incredible. Gotdamn. I like Bilal Salaam’s singing on the hook a lot. Fuck, man. This shit is fire. Man, when that percussion comes in… WOOH! The first verse from Quelle Chris is great. Shoutout to Chris Keys on that piano. That second verse from Cavalier was fantastic. I’ve always enjoyed his work on Quelle Chris’ stuff, but I haven’t checked out any of his solo material. I probably should. The piano solo from Eldar Djangirov is phenomenal. Man, this is awesome. This is definitely one of the best songs on the album. The speech on the outro from James Acaster was cool. This shit is amazing. I love this song. It’s dope af.

11. Obamacare co-produced by Chris Keys

I think this was the last single he released from this album. I remember seeing it get a lot of praise. Oh fucking shit. This beat is fucking incredible. Got DAMN. The hook is really dope too. Quelle Chris has replaced the word “nothing” with “nathan” a few times on this album. I’ve heard people do that before, and I never really understood it. It doesn’t really make sense to me at all. I mean, I don’t really care when people say it. It’s just kinda weird to me. Anyway, he fucking killed that first verse. There were so many dope lines.

Step out daddy long legs, Cab Calloway stride
Make a rapper freeze up like I was Zack in Bayside
I be knuckle down, ape, and ’bout my business, back straight
I was never weirdo, they just had to acclimate

I also liked that line where he said “you nervous ’til your nails gone.” Man, it’s gonna be super difficult to choose a favorite track. Jesus… He fuckin’ snapped on that second verse. His flow was crazy. This shit is fucking incredible.

In a far south beach house, ashy ass knees out
Barrin’ up, beats bounce, eatin’ steak & eggs ’til my feet gout
Hippy type freak outs with woke whites who beast hype
Droppin’ N-words for my nigga friends only black folks can recite

He fucking murdered this shit. I love it. I don’t have a single nitpick. This song is the definition of “dope af.” I have zero complaints. Even the music video for this shit is awesome as hell. I can’t praise this song enough. It’s one of the best singles I’ve heard all year.

12. You, Me & Nobody Else featuring Jean Grae & Jonathan Hoard co-produced by Daoud, Bae Bro & Dane

The production on this track is pretty soulful compared to a lot of the other beats on this project. It’s fantastic. Quelle Chris sounds really good on this first verse. He has kind of a melodic delivery. He actually kinda sounds like Boogie a little bit on this track. This is pretty much a love song. The first verse is really great.

Told me you love me and right then my whole life changed
That old cliché thought I’d never love again, and in you came

I love the hook a lot too. Jean Grae sounds really great singing the bridge. I was hoping for a verse from her, but Quelle Chris held it down on his own. The second verse is really great too. This is a really well done love song. I don’t really have any issues with it at all. The vocals from Jonathan Hoard were really good. This is another standout track for me. I feel like this’ll probably end up being one of the more popular songs from the album, mainly because of the accessible, melodic sound, as well as the subject matter. I love it. This shit is dope af.

13. WYRM

The previous track segues into this one really nicely, and HOLY FUCK this production is amazing. Man… I just got done listening to the first verse of this song. This shit is amazing. This song is basically just Chris asking the listener “will you remember me?” This feels like one of the most emotional, reflective songs on the album.

In between the lines of each rhyme is the same saying,
Will you remember me?
Am I just a moment for few to see?
Another black face rapper nigga on a cash chase?
Dozen for a dime, penny for your mind at one time?

I really love the simplistic structure of this song. It’s just two verses over a great piano-driven beat with no hook. This is another one of my favorite tracks. Both of the verses are fantastic, and I absolutely adore this instrumental. Fuck, man. I don’t know how I’m gonna choose a favorite song from this album. This shit is dope af.

This album is amazing. It’s definitely the best album I’ve heard from March, and it’s my favorite solo album from Quelle Chris. There’s not a single track on this album that I disliked or thought was average. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole project. I need to get this shit on wax. I won’t be surprised if it ends up being one of my top 5 Hip Hop albums of the year. The production is fantastic, and Quelle Chris is just a really talented writer. I think he did the whole gun theme really well, and now that I think about it I’m surprised more rappers haven’t rapped about the whole gun control issue. I fucking love this album. There’s not a single consistent flaw I can think of. I love this shit. Quelle Chris is a super talented artist. I hope more people start giving him credit where it’s due because the dude is fucking awesome. This shit is dope af.

Favorite Song: WYRM
Least Favorite Song: Box of Wheaties


Watch the videos below for more thoughts on this album

Grade: A

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