WKNH Music Director
Quella Chris is a New York rapper by way of Detroit. His last record for the Mellow Music Group record label came out March 29 of this year. It’s called “Guns.” It’s about guns. But it is also about everything around guns and the culture of them here in America, where mass shootings of all kinds are far too common. Chris says that the record delves into a lot of major hows and whys of the world we live in today, how we love and live and the ingest the media around us. This album is a continuation of his recent career, flowing and head nodding records that take deep dives into aspects of our current society. His last album, “Being You is Awesome, I Wish I Could Be You More Often,” was a look at all of the complicated ways we relate to ourselves, both good and bad (I do recommend checking that album out). In this more recent release, Chris takes us through images of craving and lust and violence. There are detours of longer compilation along the way in the recurring theme of gun violence. The beats ride gently most of time, pushing you along static-laden waves. There are outliers of less washy, sample fuzzy, kind of beats. The record is thirteen tracks long and not too bloated. The middle of the record sinks a little for me. Things don’t stand out so much. In any case, Chris is carving out a niche for himself as a rapper of extreme ambition and creativity. His flow is dexterous and his concepts are inspiringly bright and creative. We are in an interesting voice in Hip hop. The dominant form on the charts these days, trap, has taken a step back from storytelling and lyrical concepts in favor of hooks and danceability. A voice like Quella Chris is a needed counterpoint and companion to current chart topping rappers. His deft imagination and wit are a crucial contribution to our times.
Caroline Seksinsky can be contacted at