Published Feb 10, 2017Though hip-hop is a genre built on boisterousness and braggadocio, Quelle Chris takes that ostentatiousness to hilarious new heights on his latest release, Being You Is Great, I Wish I Could Be You More Often. There are almost too many such instances to fit in one review.
Highlights like the hypnotically jazzy "BS Vibes" find the Detroit MC declaring himself to be "absolutely Bruce Lee," while "Buddies" finds his promising to bring himself some flowers: "I'm in love with myself," he admits.
These boasts are especially strange considering the album's title, Being You Is Great, I Wish I Could Be You More Often. Counter to that moniker, Quelle spends much of the album describing how great he himself is. On "I'm That N*gga," he orders rivals to "kiss the ring, but know you can't lift that crown" over a subtly funky bass and feather-light percussion, and on "The Dreamer," he tells those inferior MCs to give up on rap on the taunting "let it go" refrain.
Another sign of his confidence: his fearlessly dense rhymes and carefree offbeat flow, both of which defy any convention and make major demands on the listener. "I guess I got dumb for brains," he confesses on the seventh track, which uses that lyric as its title and finds Quelle spitting an inebriated flow over an equally woozy jazz instrumental. On "The Prestige," guest Jean Grae showcases equally elaborate rhymes about "Crossfit training for the apocalypse," before goading internet trolls that hide behind their keyboards.
That eccentricity extends to the instrumentals. "Great to Be" is the strangest of all in that regard, thanks to its creepy, chilling singing and sparse percussion, both of which make it feel like an enthralling nightmare that you try to recall upon waking. Then there's "Don't Get Changed," which has a bizarrely catchy "Ladies squeezing out the sunroof like spaghetti" refrain filtered through vocal effects, all while no trace of a melody ever coalesces.
By sticking to such a distinctive vision, Chris is sure to satisfy his base of hardcore fringe-rap fans. Anyone outside of that set may have less patience for this fearlessly weird style of hip-hop, but those that wait it out will find that — to paraphrase the title — listening to Chris being Chris is great, and you'll want to do it more often. (Mello Music Group)