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Everything's Fine

by Jean Grae & Quelle Chris

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Rap Is Something You Do chorus Quelle: My contributions to this scam Jean: I’m wearing overalls one shoulder off Dwayne Wayne flip glasses Syrup for my cough It’s gone be lit. I ain’t wrote shit I mean I just understand rap. Like it’s inside of me. Like old school. I so respect it. It says Tupac on my shirt. Everyone can say nigga. It’s 2000 and…. Verse: You’re Dot in the Wiz you bring nothing, you ruin shit, douchey Axe body spray influences, Why I gotta deus ex machina things I’m done doing this Save yourself, useless untie the neck nooses, I’m tired semi-colon sick I done threw up the deuces 86 times, with no, hint of, shtick On the bull eye , tick lyme, older than the distance of Reticuli, that’s particularly relevant so you know when I kick it I be an elephant man Not a Joseph Merrick an elephant, fam, never forget like America the land of the klan They gave you tha,t I gave you 9 minute schoolgirl rants , Jill Palance epic eastern manifestos while you’re on keisters waiting a trend to pop off, you knock off chinatown alleyway circle jerk box office ratings you tube reviewer shut up You’re contributing nutta thing, did I stutter, You’re not helping -- Chorus Quelle: My contributions to this scam I came in with a 40 oz, 5 niggas is came up with, they all rap too, 100 CD-R discs, 3 fire 16s and a dime bag I brought 2 bottles of Alize to get us straight, 2 stunts I been trying to stunt on from round the way, plus my little man here’s the truth peep what he gotta say. Verse: Class in session. No questions. Hands down. Pick up the mic up and I make the bionic man sound. Ya clan trying to get in the lens they all fans now. Been hip hop since Kris Kross was turning pants round. Errbody wanna be a brand. I follow the bar code. Don't write bars for the scans. And get bread. Counting carbs is the plan. Big for the britches. Slurred slick talking off the liquids. Trowing up like I'm crip walkin. Boning up on the flow circa 94. Peep how the kid went from a wee bit cold to cryo. The pro black coal like Christ’s toes. Bless his soul. Optimist Esther Rolle. Disc jockies jock the discs. Too sqoo. Out the pad or off the top like lice. Jumping. High brain fried like rice and small prawns. Against slight odds and long arms of blue bloods in white hoods. Mad cause we young black niggas hanging out in white hoods. Low budget studios. Pop stopper mama pantyhose. Now the CO’s got Grammy cameos. Red bottoms on they high school sweethearts hammer toes. A jay before the Emmys like Boy Better Know. Chorus Quelle: My contribution to this scam I got my rhyme books in my backpack and a fat sack. Just the contact could set you back like is was fall black and all that Let's go listen to this shit in the ride. Roll through the hood bang it out on ten all night. My cuz got the plug in at power 105. Jean: Hi I got my selfie stick cause I do it for the Gram. The Flat Tummy Tea cause I do it for the brands. I make a rap album because anybody can.
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Verse Quelle All star big boy with the 4butter Doug Prishpeed. Tryin to snag a bag the size of Kris Kristy. We come thru snapping your city's a wrap big Leslie. We show up and show out like Eddie snapping on Reggie. I'm chill but chill don't make me bust up ya headpiece. Seen. Ya styles is ass. Ya fans is g string. You can beat then join em your stance is weakling. The bass fuck up your face and ain’t the weekend. Fans beg him to leak the new heat like Trumps staff. Daft deep in the bloodline like Bubba with shrimp. Traveling man the plans to go out with a Gump past. Make your radio sign up for tender and swipe right cause I'm the stereo type like niggas who run fast. You got hate on ya plate and loss in your lunch bag. You're whole album needs saving. My features a must have. Your engineer be like Rock on the clock cause he dumps trash. Whoever said it ain't been done don't know I did it. Been doing it since niggas fitted cap wasn't fitted. All that and a sack of snacks with the sammiches. Then smoke it out like Tatsu with the foot ninja vanishing. Big noggin colorful paper my peoples is handling. King of the ring sting with aluminum bats shit. And if they claim that they do what I'm doing is bat shit. Like fuck you and err nigga that you ever rapped with. I got money on me getting money something reckless. That's an investment. Them Vibe niggas no jive now that's a collective. All in all even my flaws is impressive. They call it complex. I call em ol common bitches with collars on necks. It's calling vs text. You heard the inflection bredren the message ain't mixed. You know what I meant. I said what I meant. Chorus Oh Shit 3x This for dummies who from like they know shit My wise heads still grinding to grow shit Oh shit 4x This for my honeys with money that own shit My blowed niggas get money and grow shit Verse: Hannibal I ain’t got not fur coat but I got a book bag full of merlot. I’m lying I ain’t got no fucking merlot. I drink whiskey but I do want a fur coat. This shit is trippy. Just in the bar spitting bars at the bar. Go to the bathroom. The a shit the I hop in a Uber car. Too bazaar you know who you are. You should get hit by a moving car. You stupid broads make me too exhausted. What’s going on? Are you retarded? I’m not retarded. Is that your father? A tragic liar. Is that designer? Is that a fire? Remember Mya? I’m awkward with chopsticks. I’m like aww shit, Chorus Verse: Jean Shit fucking right flame on Phoenix Krush your whole groove Rae Dawn Get 86’ed Radon First gimme your love, Barry, Faison it’s the real Serenade swan song , face palm Scherazade, but I killed the king on day one. Heritage, part asian Smack your merit badges off your body with a baseball…. bat Stay strong. Niggas act like I’m elusive and Medusa clueless as they never knew there was a man with Luther. Stupid. Avon like slayage from door to door, but they ignore for more dumb shit the gaul From Charles Degaulle to y’alls bar… beotch. Large halls, small spaces like Fiats. your balls, and malt balls. Same scale. my guffaws at your barrage of all star false grails Is loud and obnoxious like there’s noxious gasses in the air Collins, Im Indiana on columns Cares, don’t got em shit, what For nada Nothing’s a problem unless your face is not in the gutter, you’re trash. SHIT.
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Verse : Quelle If you two wheel and tryin to chill getta kick stand. Everybody getting money had a game plan. Every truth seeker dropped by a hit man. Everybody alt right gotta be white. Everybody disagree gotta be wrong. Everybody black dick gotta be long. Every mixtape dropped gotta be free. Everybody from the hood gotta be g. Everything in the news gotta real right. Every jew golden rule gotta save bills. Every young nigga got a dead beat daddy. Every independent lady attitude trashy. Anybody ain't lit gotta be old. If you dressed like that gotta wanna fuck. If i got locks then i gotta stay blowed. And if it ain't fronto it's gotta be a blunt. And if I cop squares why they gotta be ports. Either keep it real or you uncle Tom bugging. If two ain't the same why one gotta be broke. You can play the game I ain't gotta be nothing for you. But me. From the head nappy to feet. Can't hurry sum so complete. Took time like duck confit. If spaceships too far from ya reach. It's weightless way down in the deep. Yeah. You ain't bout to have me losing no sleep cause I'm grinding you ain't bout to see me snoozing no sleep same time man Verse: Jean Young girl side ponytail thrift store garb Frizzy hair, bookworm, but street smart Immigrant, children watching Buckwheat late night Listen to Depeche Mode Big Audio-o Dynamite, Identity crisis are coming later vices are coming even later prices for a life lived (lived) Without life built for the right price guilt, Cause you can be the things they say to be and get killed (killed) With difficulty comes learning, where typically those, less exposed to those burdens Can flourish without knowing themselves, without growing themselves Without them moments of doubt, moments of bells all ringing singing low self Esteem, Jean walk a hundred feet tall, walk mean, talk obscene, craw guffaw, Cross Scenes , never cross on the green cause fuck yo standards Cause I ain’t gotta be nothing for you but me From my 3b down to feet can’t fathom how it’s so complete Take your time like duck confit Spaceships they ain’t never out of reach Im up high and down down in the deep You ain’t bout to have me losing no sleep cause I’m grinding You ain’t bout to see me snoozing no sleep same time man For the 10 ft short. 100 degrees cold. Riding high on summit low. Mighty weak. Light as stone. Pretty ugly. Faded glow. Hold on tight I'm letting go. 1 million dollars poor. Live to die. Dying to grow. (Repeat)
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Peacock 03:16
Verse: Jean They came first for me and I spoke up With every line I spoke they just tightened the yoke up No silver linings cept their lining all their coke up On the mirrors reflecting damn nothing on the close up they succubi, vampires fucking suck you dry aint nothing will change if chains is the bucket list I can see em praying everyday that’ll we’ll fucking die. ingrained, and deep down does the bucking get. Ima proponent of the mainframe hacking, if it wasn’t built for me I’ll take the game lay’n axe in crack skin pull back treat it as I’m operating a mature bris bitch What’s your purpose You can see I aint reigned in no puppets upon me Hey The pressure, what’s it feel like What’s your souls deal like Cause I’m so free Now I know what it means be a shutout, for choosing ironically never to live as a cutout the use of technology equal to having a gun out, my open carry of self is offensive as a motherfucker Just so younger couples can maybe see us and come up with another way to run up in these open lanes among us catch your throat in a yes sir. Debt occurred Get yer black ass Of their turf. Be great. 2nd Verse: Quelle They be pushing me to the point of pressure. In need of therapy with pressure points. I hit a joint to sore higher than a airliner. This wasn't bout the coal miners since cold opens. Live from new York. The black alien space race Malikai York. The smash grab no hash tag riot for sport. The way they burned down Greenwood and Rosewood, Florida. They reserved the hood for ya to preserve the jail quota. Cause what's the law to a land owner when trespassing is our only way of passing and they shot on sight. I hope the truest make it through the night. Control delete alt right. The harmony off key. I'll take the Colin Kaepernick knee. Like you ain't bought to off me cause I am free. An open book. That you can quote without cliff notes. And you can judge it by the cover with the metal wrists and noose throats. I'm trying to delegate a new hope
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Who stopped cosby from copping nbc They did it Who shot ya favorite emcee They did it Es cu che My nigga said they did it The ouiji board said they did it And i aint play wit it They did it Quelle verse: Tell me something I already know. A circus round every corner but I ain't compelled to go like Cool James without his radio. And every Eve, Dick and Teddy got a cameo. The Daily Hoe. Be paleo come up off the bread and we GTG. lols for the ELE. 17 plus years post Busta Bust predictions. Everybody want a slice from the fruits of labor pie plus the crust is hitting or so been told or sold one of the two. Might go back to some hood I don't rep and buy sodas for the youth. The oldest trick in the book. what a goof. Slip a ring off a star while aloof. Trying to come up on a spirit dinner Groupon before the kids decide that I rappin too long. With money long and thick as udon. Hunched over walking like old white politicians. You know the zombies who lobbied to eat the president sweating watching they gene pool grow irrelevant. I ain't trying to be halibut in this small pond. I'd prefer to evolve and get my walk on. Greasy. Get a busted clone like Yeezy. Dye my hair blond crying bout how you need me. OKs over the eyes like MD throw Old Bay over the fries. The cigarette smoking man in the long corridor eyeing. Knowing how the music can influence stark climates. Put on shades Amazing grace became obey Put on shades Amazing grace became obey Put on shades Amazing grace became obey Denmark Verse: Rappin bout martian unidentifiable large discs tall greys pop out with state of the art tits tex avery eyes tongue out like a carpet call tommy lee jones and will smith aww shit satellite feed of the sacrifice feast Where elite pronouns Eat the weak for the harvest Eyes wide shut Masked plutocrats Ball at bohemian grove on the google map and stupid stacks you aint dat stupid stupid you know whats at the root of that EVIL nsa know where they do that at hack me and you getting dick pics and malware gon head leak them BITCHES matter fact ill share we can kazaam the whole zip for a file share v for vendetta profile with the wild stare I blame the boule The masons mufon The koch brothers Coen brothers Single mothers stone cutters Cfr Joan rivers The theys the themsThe deys and seys and beys Conspiracy craze wave The phrase that pays White collar suits that look like Dave Coulier Who stopped cosby from copping nbc They did it Who shot ya favorite emcee They did it Es cu che My nigga said they did it The ouiji board said they did it And i aint play wit it In broad day You gon let me get away wit it
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Verse: Quelle I woke up ate my breakfast. A full plate of posts and texts. Saw somebody else got shot up this time by some cops in Texas or Vinigia. Can't remember can't keep count. They rope a doping trying to wear down my emotions. But if they just abided they'd be cool. If they say jump you say how high. You know it's wrong you say alright. And do you look em the eyes boy. Be quite boy. Sound familiar huh boy? Pause. Or find yourself a quote end quote martyr for the cause. A mural on a wall. A hashtag for teen white kids to troll for angry response. It's bound to wreck you're body or straight burn ya body out. It's bound to wreck you're body or straight burn ya body out You just another angry nigga shouting. What you pressing? Why you pouting? Why still singing we shall overcome in the 2000s? Devils trying to turn this car around while we been asking are we there yet for the last 400 miles like Fuck. Damn. Shit. Wow. It's bound to wreck you're body or straight burn ya body out It's bound to wreck you're body or straight burn ya body out It's bound to wreck you're body or straight burn ya body out like Damn shit fuck wow. It's bound to wreck you're body or straight burn ya body out It's bound to wreck you're body or straight burn ya body out It's bound to wreck you're body or straight burn ya body out Verse: Jean Woke up in a cold sweat drenched like I’m Ronald in a Genesis Spent and I haven’t even been awake for minutes in this time I sometimes think maybe it’s better with religion An invisible man and he can quantify the pain we’re given, (right) Surviving Cause surviving ain’t the same as really living (ah) Please Teach the babies that (please,) educate the children Freeze now they on the concrete pleading for forgiveness I don’t what type of litmus test this shit is, but dig this It’s beats your body down, and straight burn your body out So you waste your time just catering to pain, Party Down Getting through the day to day to maintain, is hard as hell It ain’t fucking fair It’s not just get over it over Or get over it sober Nobodies past the quotas and nobodies past agendas It’s just hard to sing some lullabies to sleep When they pumping in your, pumping in your, pumping in your jeep jeep It ain’t I’m not a warrior, bitch I’m Dora Milaje My mother was a freedom fighter like writer Aja Monet I’m a well seasoned veteran old bay, I don’t need OJ to get off on some murders I need veteran racists off pay, and in jail, but the bastards seem to linger some chemtrails As children calm their mamas while they stare at daddy’s entrails Come on, how much more evidence you want Maybe you could use your privilege like a human shield in front Without the Pepsi, miss me I pray the bullets miss me, but you not about that life So let me tell you how this shit be it’s like Fuck damn shit wow It’s bound to wreck your body or straight burn your body out It’s bound to wreck your body or straight burn your body out It’s bound to wreck your body or straight burn your body out Like damn shit fuck wow It’s bound to wreck your body or straight burn your body out It’s bound to wreck your body or straight burn your body out It’s bound to wreck your body or straight burn your body out
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Quelle verse: Ladies and crackers Niggas and gentlemen The Ohs original cruddsters in the tenement Antonio Vargas Flyguy chain big shit High big spliffs Up the window break the rental in Trash laced with pizzazz Walk with the sane relate with mad Q Chris sipping on piss The only thing neat is the Knob Creek Q Chris sipping on piss The only thing sweepstakes’s is the MD two zero backslash twenty Mad dogs Mae heathcliffs cross the street Riff Raffs flag a cab Catch me outside how bout that I maneuver the game of life and mousetraps Threw some crudd on it make that good snap back Mike Epps slapen her fatty Pulling her rat yack Throw a little dirt on em (2x) Droog verse: Spll my beet drink and rub my stink feet on the laminant Stalker fans come through and examine it Make songs with my fam and they jamming it Slap the phone out ya hand for Shazzaming it Into a pile of vomit Hip hop ahmet ertegun See me like damn same shirt again I don’t care who act funny trying to rank If there’s money in the motherfucking bank and a tank full Q can roll a dank like an ankle We’re thankful Give praise to Puerto Rican Jesus Run straight to the mirror and squeeze puss All I see is black heads and white heads Keep my shirt on Not sexy enough like Right Said Fred Strutting on stage with swamp butt Hunchback posture and gut Looking like the number 6 If I bend down might see crack like when the plumber comes to fix With B.O. use cologne to try and mask it Go so hard might blow a gasket Singlehandedly lowering all the greatest rappers caskets Chorus: Throw a little dirt on em Sprinkle a little dirt on em splash a little dirt on em Flash a little dirt on em (2x) Jean Grae Verse: Fire off five shots, and a maniacal laugh then point the six shooter in your stache, and run down viable paths for said bullet. Lex Luthor minding your ass And then pull it. I’ll give you a dirt bath, your forever home, as I tip in your body from back in the Hertz man, no one ever know (I keep secrets) Heathcliff, double life without the rapes constructing like Hephaestus, if the reference lost, look up your Greek shit Was the moniker, While Mmenoch’s busy, I’m busier, shape shift Vivica A face, manslaughter like friends of Monica Fuck your Rachel, Phoebe, Ross chronicles, Khadija Max, Kyle bae honest tho Hakuna Matata not now, Omarosa not now vamanos, gotdamn Feel like The Babadook in his top hat, on a rainbow float in a crop top cause take what you owed, And make it your own, and throw the dirt up on em.
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Zero 04:45
Hacksaws, crass, Black Rachmaninoff Smack paws with the cats from the Donner Party, That’s a body party….Ciara Nevada Hunter’s lawyer, scared of nada Paranoia among you marionettes is fodder for me tell you father for me I said “what up, but don’t call me” What’s the story? Glory, never. Not even when I’m salt and pepper you’ll go on and ignore me. Forever.. Cardi. Still carded, immortal form in the shape of adorable stay sharper than Dominican barber shape ups Marble tabletop elegance Parker Posey Peter New York elements Par irrelevance, Smithsonian twice, pardon your feigned ignorance Bitch pardon your life, cotta terra color, botticeli body, mind a mile minute, the pedagogy’s for no fucks. Infinite Get yours. Better keep a medevac hovering 24, or the faults all yours as you draw your last breaths and I draw chalk while you’re still talking all stressed spitting ipecac, call your family, bawl out your chest boy Act Next door, demeanor with the neck tats Confuse, Textbook procedure with an exact-o, pro-fuse use of calling me sassy motherfucker Balderdash I’m the original nasty motherfucker Lets dance Chorus: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Zero Fucks to give You already know I’ma reign on it, bring me the check, King Me Fire, brimstone, magma, lava, Dylan, molten granite, dollars Kimchee, longer it sits stronger the emcee but no literal sitting humility Nobody touch her Nobodies given immunity and I start killing dusk at tho Everybody doing the hustle like I’m shooting in a crowded disco You pop cap locks, brother. Ya missed me. Did ya miss me, well you should have bought the catalog, stupid. you getting watchu put in, pudding, clueless I don’t make personal house calls to do this, foolish. Rules is nixed, cause my whole don’t exist, and if don’t go on a list Then why the fuck should I color in lines I’m colored in fine, new Crayola color I see you colored in mine Now who you say your mother…me? Chorus Brutal, sharp, harsh wit get it in better than pseudo, better men Been yelling Uno Since I was stepping in Kudos, nada Feel Uber lyft out, Juno? Haha. Even in rudimentary form, in top form but you’ve been pawned like I’m not born I pom pom myself solo tho, cheers, go alone mon ami holding no fears Say uck em
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Quelle verse: One city defines the state of a cold counrty 8:50 the night devours the day hungry Providing light for freaks who precede from the rosters of 1/5 of club hoppers rocking their favorite outfits 1/5 of foreheads tipping a fifth of vodka 1/5 of big fella thug niggas lifting the block up The other 2 vary in hoods through various projects And middle class areas carrying angels and monsters This is life Hip hops most dangerous topic embedded in prophets who preach in the presence of mosh pits But even in it’s most hectic the city is precious The powerful pressure felt when learning a hard lesson Confessions of first times in your life line Came with the sunshine after nights far from your right mind and Sometimes it’s beautiful Sometimes it’s not Sometimes it’s knucklehead niggas Lotta times it’s the cops Some brothers live in the dark all day rotting between a rock and a hard place Because the light of day is a way to chase ya liquor up And it takes a hard shake to wake a nigga up Working the graveyard shift to get ya figures up Hitting the strip club Dollars weighing them strippers down Like everybody waiting for the moon to come around Anna Chorus: Don’t waste your dreams It’s never gonna be perfect Know how it seems doing now It’s always worth it Sometimes it feels like You can’t hold on But hold hold don’t let today bring you down Baby don’t you wait for the moon to come around Jean verse: Fernanda’s mama said work hard, live hard because your time is short Exactly why I kicked my life into high gear when my mama died Less traumatized than apologetic For all the times, I waited on some kinda rise up revolution from the people forget To make me equal, to level the playing field at least to, Let me play the game But these two could never play the same I should known it from her own shit how polarizing bullshit gender get Race get Perception get Stay in your place get Know you role, no regrets Connection of your faith in yourself And owning it Wish she could've lived out all her wishes fully without all her ties to us and I say that with the understanding that I never could’ve lived out all my wishes even partly without all her ties to us But I'm alive so thus I never wait for tomorrow cause it’s the future and this linear times a vacant suture Praise Tesla Never wait for shit to happen is the primal lesson…. So you best to get down now, come on Chorus Mosel verse: Moon, scratch that Muna In Arabic that be desire, a frequent flyer Fixing up my discipline the days reveal my Destiny, niggas cant eff with me, like Nasir’s daughter. Better get your money up, the Rap Gods taunt us Mistakes from the previous generation still haunt us The age of awakenings upon us, but they don’t really want us to tap into Ubuntu regardless Folks waiting for the moon. I’m waiting for my son to come around, cause my BM on her BS, what a fucking clown What I’m gone do now? Be stressed, psyche we blessed to travel peaks and valleys Allah Subhanwatallah is keeping the tallies of life’s test So reverence your testimony with glory Al Rahman ir-Rahim authored the story Abdul Jabbar used to spit bars in cars with Corey Mosel been that nigga since I was dating Midori Rewind Selectah! But time flies I done seen thousands of moons in my lifetime I done seen it from both sides of the globe clothed under luminous night skies They’ll be plenty more moons Insha’Allah Everybody waiting for they moon to come around I’m just praying that my son can hear me now Chrous
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Jean verse: It’s hard to say that we could never speak again, Or even just to keep it frequent, hard to keep it in Harder to speak within the bars limits, of deep dissent of weeping at 15 percent of caring where you keep your head Of daring to pretend things would be different if just he was dead Fingers hover over keys with just nothing to right wrongs, or write songs, so I close the window on it Took me until my 30s just to put my finger on it, once you accept the knowledge solace doesn’t follow honest meet me back 89, where we’re babies still, before the new dawn of your mind, before you went dormant in pills a kill switch I wish they made one, blaming one - motherfucker who still never changed from - blaming mom, blaming us, for addiction claiming none, praying 5 times a day was saving us? Fuck him, thank him for the genes, unfortunately ain’t enough… cause ain’t a love fucked if ain’t love but thinking love hurts with them fists words, and the discourse fists firsts, This passed over me landed on y’all Watched you landing in walls still mad my physical body wasn’t damn strong, or mad tall, was just young, with this functional disability one, Couldn’t do all I wanted my mobility stunted, y’all I would’ve killed him million hundred times, no stalling on it, gasoline pouring on it, that’s Jean falling on it knife into his sternum, and I’m turning on it, burn it all it’s worth it all, you’re worth it all, inverted comet collisions, and watch your comic book visions be fruitful watch the dominant sibling be useful Watch our lives be truth filled Do you still… remember me and you still Quelle verse: We been through things. You been through things. You Pepsi soda. You challenge. I’ve seen you die a thousand times. And be reborn. As something new. That yen and yen. That yang and yang. Extremes. Shattered dreams. New wokes. We old folks still trying to cope ain't no joke. True I disagreed with some decisions. That split the tree as we received as little seeds. But we grown. You make yo bed. I make my own. No stones tossed. Cause I done crosses lines plenty times. Still you & you and I, the small fries, my sister and OGs. Regrets cause I fade out. Then fade back. I coulda this. I shoulda that. Seen cul de sacs get cold from time to time. Just mind your motives and hold ya mind. In case these words find you in favor from the other side. Sometimes we come out these cacoons as coons. Not buterflies. Less cut and dry. The under eyes got bags with tags from all the travels. We maintain. With no regrets to proudly claim. The lost and found amongst these mental planes. Everything’s okay or so they say

about

BANDCAMP'S ALBUM OF THE YEAR 2018
daily.bandcamp.com/2018/12/14/bandcamp-best-albums-of-2018-20-1/

When you hear the phrase, “everything’s fine,” we immediately understand it as emotional shorthand. In daily life, we depend on those perfunctory clichés (hope all is well, good to hear from you, etc.) to spare ourselves from the psychological unpacking that the truth requires. For that, there’s art. For that, there’s Everything’s Fine from Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, a jagged, acerbic odyssey that brilliantly riffs on this dystopian zeitgeist.

The thing is, anyone without a lobotomy and a toxic red hat understands that things are definitely not fine. The crush of modern anxiety, the late capitalist scramble to survive, and the brain warp rot of social media has left most of us half crazy.

“We have a dickhead for a president, and before our eyes, racial, religious, and sexual identity rights are moving backwards,” says New York’s (by way of Detroit) Quelle Chris. “Money is still a thing (I’m waiting for Star Trek life to start). There’s war, your kids may be sick, but if someone randomly asks "how's it going?" most people will say "fine."

Released on Mello Music Group, this album replaces that reflexive cliché with honest and eloquent tangents. It’s specific and subtle in its execution, achieving equilibrium between lackadaisical detours to smell the flowers and the frantic acknowledgement that there’s an inferno raging outside.

If the great political albums are often grim polemics, Everything’s Fine achieves its goals partially through withering satire. See the opening skit, a Prince Paul-style game show in which three contestants (including a futuristic robot) numbly croak that everyone’s fine despite flying high on every imaginable drug, crying themselves to sleep at night and being unemployed for a decade and a half despite having a Master’s in Fine Arts. I promise it’s much funnier than it reads off a screen.

“We’re both perfectionists in different ways,” Jean Grae describes their working relationship. “We both see huge pictures and concepts. So while listening, pay attention to the subtleties, the nuances, the dissonance and the harmony. The conversations and pieces of ourselves in the words, the flows, the beats. All of the open spaces. .Be uncomfortable and be okay with that. Be layered and be okay with that. Be angry and be okay.”

It’s rare to find a record where two rappers are so seamlessly intertwined. Yes, that’s partially a by-product of the teamwork that goes into being in any normal relationship where you wake, sleep, and dream together. But the album also bears the hallmarks of two singular creative geniuses trading bars, collaborating on beats, and combining fun with internal therapy and external observations. It features indelible cameos from Denmark Vessey, Grammy Award winner Anna Wise, Your Old Droog and Big Tone, as well as comics Ashok “Dap” Kondabolu, Michael Che, Nick Offerman, and Hannibal Burress.

In the streaming era, we tend to naturally overlook albums that require multiple listens. This is a record that will grab you on first listen, but it’s greatness only reveals itself through its careful construction, slick wordplay, and esoteric allusions.

On “Zero,” Jean artfully references Rachmaninoff and The Donner Party in the first two bars. With “Scoop A Dirt,” she name-drops the Babadook alongside the truth bomb that Friends was little more than a whitewashed rip off off Living Single. Meanwhile, Quelle balances boasts about bags of cash the size of Chris Christie with poignant existential laments. Somewhere in between, Jean will stealthily slip in jewels like, “it took me until my 30s just to put my finger on it, once you accept the knowledge/solace doesn’t follow/honest.”

It’s a record with only a couple antecedents: De La Soul is Dead, Organized Konfusion’s Stress: The Extinction Agenda, Blackstar, and maybe Cannibal Ox’s Cold Vein. Yet it doesn't sound remotely like any of them. It’s spontaneous and free, yet refined and meticulous. Even if everything is abject, it’s a reminder that music can transcend.

“This album is full of our minds. Our hearts. Our love for production, and words. flow and a lot of musicality,” Jeans says. “We don’t approach topics, issues, writing, or making beats in the same way. I’m harsh, blunt, quick, technical, I arrange classically and play more than I sample. I make joints with 80 tracks. I’m layers upon layers upon layers. Quelle is patient, he’s kinder. More loose and minimalistic. He makes sounds work together that shouldn’t fucking work. How? I have no idea. These are dreams within dreams.”

credits

released March 30, 2018

Production by Jean Grae & Quelle Chris
Sax by Dane Orr
Flute by Melanie Charles
Keys by Paul "Bae Bro" Wilson

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Quelle Chris Detroit, Michigan

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