Rapper/producer Quelle Chris is dropping his latest album Innocent Country today (July 10), but the Detroit native played a significant role on another recent project. Chris handled the production on Jean Grae’s new 6-track EP iSweatergawd, and he also provided vocals for the Brooklyn rapstress’ songs “Looking Free” and “Maybe.”
AllHipHop connected with Quelle Chris to get his thoughts on working with Jean. The Mello Music Group artist also explains why he is not pressed about getting the studio with just anybody.
[ALSO READ: EXCLUSIVE: Quelle Chris Talks “Innocent Country” Album, Prayer Versus Action & Interacting With Online Critics]
You recently produced Jean Grae’s new EP. How did that particular project come together?
It was one of the ideas we had when we first met which has been slowly cultivated. It’s a mutual respect for Hip Hop. We talk about Hip Hop all night.
I wouldn’t even say there was a conversation and a handshake about it. We were like, “We like making music, so let’s do it. We like what each other does, so let’s find that place where we compliment each other.”
There’s no magical Disney story behind it. It was just like, “You wanna rap? You wanna do some rapping? Yeah? Okay, let’s rap.”
Are there any other artists that you haven’t worked with yet that you would like to?
There are other ones in the works that I haven’t worked with yet, but they’re coming. There are artists that I have worked with that I look forward to working with again. I’m looking forward to working with Roc Marciano, and I just did another song with Sean P.
It’s funny. The day that I met Jean, Milk Dee from Audio Two was there. That’s one of my favorite emcees ever. So sitting in this bar next to Milk Dee, I’m like Jesus could walk in this b*tch, pouring tequila shots for everybody, and I’d be like, “Yo, shut the f*ck up. Milk Dee is here.”
So I think I’ve been blessed enough to at least be put in situations to work with the people I want to work with. From there, there are other genres that I’d also be interested in working with. But it’s hard for me to mention a name, because there’s so many artists. Sometimes I just like the magic of it just happening, surprising me.
I’m really happy with the artists that I’m around and work with currently. I can’t really ask for much more. The music has more of an energy than Kanye and Paul McCartney getting in the lab and popping out a whole bunch of bullsh*t just for the sake of saying, “I get to work with Paul McCartney.”
Did you not like those tracks?
Come on? Let’s be honest. I don’t know the exact story, but let’s say you have a week in the studio with Paul McCartney. With Paul McCartney? The Beatles? And that’s the best thing you can pump out?
I don’t want to be sitting in the lab with somebody just to say, “I’m working with somebody.” So I can take pictures and go, “Look who I’m in the lab with.” But the music isn’t organic and doesn’t have that magic and the staying power to it.
So I prefer it being the people that come into my life in the way the energy makes it happen. I think that makes music that has way more staying power.
I feel like I could always look back and listen to songs from any of my albums. No matter how many years gone by, they still sound fresh and new. That’s because it wasn’t some forced rap experience for the sake of the moment. It was a rap experience for the sake of a friendship that will last forever, and the music says that too.
[ALSO READ: EXCLUSIVE: Mello Music Group Displays Its Diverse Roster With New Compilation Album “Persona”]
Jean Grae’s iSweatergawd is available for purchase on Bandcamp.
Quelle Chris’ Innocent Country is available for purchase on iTunes.
Read AllHipHop.com’s extended interview with Quelle Chris where he talks about his new album, dealing with online critics, and more here.