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DEATHFAME

by Quelle Chris

Released May 13, 2022 via Mello Music Group

Reviewed May 24, 2022

Top tracks (based on community voting)
Alive Ain’t Always Living (59%), The Sky Is Blue Because The Sunset Is Red (55%), So Tired You Can’t Stop Dreaming (53%)

A musician using their art as a means to depict the pitfalls of fame is a tale almost as old as time; but Quelle Chris isn’t your everyday artist. On his seventh album, DEATHFAME, the Detroit artist vocalizes the exhaustion that comes alongside a lengthy rap career—but with his unwavering skill as both an emcee and producer, it is clear his creativity has yet to be exhausted a bit. Extending further than the rap game and Chris’ own experience, the concepts of DEATHFAME are paralleled by common life experiences, as positives and negatives can often be found within even the highest of moments and the most glamorous of lifestyles. Scattered throughout the album are bits of wisdom—mantras, of sorts—that exemplify the duality of life that DEATHFAME encapsulates. From “alive ain’t always living” to “if Heaven's got a ghetto, Hell's got a resort,” nearly every word bears an element of introspection, a touch of existentialism, and a splash of his usual wit. In terms of production, Quelle Chris is as sharp as ever, working atop of some of the crispest beats of the year. Very much in the typical abstract hip-hop lane that he is a modern pioneer of, jazzy pianos work in tandem with soulful samples and drum loops. Lending themselves to the aforementioned themes, the music of DEATHFAME is as mellow as it is melancholic, and as beautiful as it is somber. The record is one of the beautiful occasions when an artist truly bares their soul on a project, and Quelle Chris’ latest does just that. – Dominick (9.2/10)


Quelle Chris comes from the obscure school of hard knocks. Leaning into one's uniqueness is always an endearing move. When the results are just as endearing it adds up to something. He walks a path paved by the likes of Kool Keith and many other off-key, unhinged artists, yet glides through on his own style and cadence. DEATHFAME follows a series of Chris’ biggest releases to date including Guns and Everything's Fine with Jean Grae. Quelle's beat selection is second to none. Not enough of an emphasis is placed on the overall 'vibe' of a work. Too much attention on trivial niceties and playing it safe potentially renders the artform obsolete. Acts like Quelle Chris serve an ever-present purpose: Make things that are thought provoking, but keep them within arms reach. Spice up the scene with self searching soliloquies. Alive ain't always living. – Peter (7.5/10)


Dominick: 9.2/10 | Cam: 8.5/10 | Pax: 8.5/10 | Alan: 8.4/10 | Jared: 8/10

Henny: 7.8/10 | DeVán: 7.7/10 | Peter: 7.5/10 | Hadley: 7/10

 
Community Reviews:

​​Love this record to death! (Get it?) Anyways, this might be Quelle Chris's most adventurous outing yet. It's dynamic, confrontational and experimental without ever sounding self-indulgent. – @andre_vital_pardue (8.8/10)

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