(AllHipHop Features) “Sometimes I be feeling like don’t nobody love me,” is the opening line of the title track to Quelle Chris’ latest solo project Ghost At The Finish Line. Despite releasing several projects in the last few years that were well-received by music critics and a core fan base, Quelle has not attained the level of attention that is probably deserving of a producer/emcee of his talent.
Understandably, the Detroit native acknowledges that lack of recognition is something that crosses his mind, but Quelle believes his artistic voice is of the highest caliber regardless.
“Yeah, it bothers me. I can’t say it doesn’t bother me, but at the same time I’m good. I’m going to keep moving up. That’s all I can do,” says Quelle. “I’m always going to have something good waiting when people are ready. I get respect from a lot of these cats. I know what I got is great, so I’m just chilling.”
Ghost At The Finish Line was seen as great by many listeners. The self-reflective tone of tracks like “Loop Dreams” reveal Quelle’s passionate desire to achieve success at this rap thing, while humorous songs like “Super F**k” display he still doesn’t take himself too seriously. It all comes together for what the emcee calls “conversationalist music.”
“[My music’s] more an exchange between two people. Rather than feeling you’re just getting a song, you actually feel like you’re in the moment of the music,” explains Quelle.
As 2013’s Ghost still gathers steam, Quelle is also helping build momentum for his new team at Mello Music Group; the label home to Oddisee, Apollo Brown, L’Orange & Stik Figa, Has-Lo, and Dudley Perkins.
The collective just released their compilation albums Mandala Vol. 1, Polysonic Flow and Mandala Vol. 2, Today’s Mathematic. Vol 1 includes the Quelle-produced instrumental track “Euclidian Geometry,” his solo rap track “Going Swell,” and his appearance on the posse cuts “Money Shot” and “Supreme Codeine.”
“I wanted to be with something that I could grow with. It’s not somewhere I feel pressured about how I make my music or what I want to make,” Quelle states about his reasoning for signing with Mello. “I can be free to make whatever I want, but at the same time we’re growing together. That and all the billions of dollars I be making.”
As a collective of “underground artists,” Quelle and the rest of Mello Music Group are viewed as residing on the opposite end of the Hip Hop spectrum to the rappers who live comfortably on corporate radio. Even though Quelle may be considered more reflective of the essence of a true emcee, he has no problem calling out self-aggrandizing rap artists. He is also a target of his own comedic shots. A prime example is his cut “Rappin’ Ass” featuring Denmark Vessey.
“Denmark wrote the song initially. He got the beat from [House] Shoes, wrote the song, and sent it to me. I was like I got to get in on this,” Quelle says. “There is st that cats do that’s a little suspect, but at the same time there’s a lot of st that either I do or have done. I’m a rappin’ ass na too, so you can’t make fun of other nas if you can’t really point out s**t in yourself. We’re kind of talking about ourselves. We’re rappin’ass n****as.”
Quelle has opinions about the direction of Hip Hop in general as well. According to the Crown Nation affiliate, the culture is becoming a victim of its own popularity, but like other musical art forms, Hip Hop will survive some of the absurdity that has consumed it in his eyes.
“When a medium becomes really popular, people just start [trying to] out doing each other, and then you reach some sort of pinnacle of ridiculousness,” says Quelle. “Then somebody comes out with something that kind of topples it – that’s building it up from the bottom again. You see that happen within a lot of genres.”
Though he has a vision of where Hip Hop is headed, Quelle Chris is mostly concerned with crafting the best quality products for himself, his Mello Music Group brethren, and the other outside artists he collaborates with. If his genre-bending “conversationalist music” is never appreciated by the greater society, Quelle ultimately seems content with just creating work that illustrates who he is an artist.
“If I make something that’s extremely deep-rooted Hip Hop, Jazz, electronic st, something that’s a little bit more silly where I’m not trying to be extra lyrical, or whatever the fk I want to do, you can say whatever. It’s not going to make any difference to me. What I’m doing is working for me.”
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Stream/Purchase Ghost At The Finish Line below.