There’s something about Quelle Chris which really commands my attention.
The Detroit producer and emcee has been operating for a few years now but everyone started playing catch up once he dropped his 2013 LP, Niggas is Men. Chris’s approach is a unique one, his pitch is nasal and his music style is unorthodox, with sometimes-woozy, sometimes-snappy beats, and lyrical topics which can be faded at one moment and profound the next. That mix is what I really admire in Niggas in Men. It sounds like a big weed session, full of oddities, where Quelle and crew crack jokes and bullshit here and there, but also takes more than a few moments to focus and deliver some really memorable songs.
“We Eat It” is just so one of those moments. It’s on this song that Chris tackles a topic which you don’t hear that much about, especially when it comes to hip-hop: Eating healthy. With guest emcee Cavalier, Chris dives into issues of food insecurity, and the fact that people of color living in the hood don’t have access to fresh and healthy food, and are conditioned to be content with junk from carryouts and fast food spots. He wonders just how damaging these diets can be, not just physically with heart attacks and obesity, but mentally, lamenting the fact that his people are being fed poison like rats. It’s a weighty, thought-provoking topic and Chris tackles it soberingly. The beat, with it’s doleful horn melody which sounds right at home in a Spike Lee flick, sounds agitated and uneasy, almost like your arteries are working overtime. Taken altogether, it’s a listen that will stay with you long after it’s done, and one that will have you second-guessing what’s on your plate.