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Guns

by Quelle Chris

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03:19 video

about

Every time a shooting makes the news talking heads pop up in small boxes and make loud arguments about how we shouldn’t rush to politicize what just happened. After all, the heads argue, guns don’t kill people. People kill people. But how true is that? Are the tools we use simply tools, innocuous until we give them meaning? Or are the things we surround ourselves with –– the things in our arsenal –– begging to be weaponized, for good or for evil? Guns, the new album from the critically acclaimed rapper and producer Quelle Chris, is a careful study of all these questions, an urgent record for urgent times.


“Guns is an arsenal of both sounds, styles, and subjects, Quelle says, taking a thorough look at “the words we say, what we fear, how we love, how we live, what we ingest, what we believe in, who we idolize, shit like that.” To this end, the New York by-way-of Detroit savant attacks his topics from multiple angles: there’s the jagged, minimal “Obamacare,” which plays like a confrontation, but there’s also “Wild Minks,” where Quelle and the enigmatic New Jersey rapper Mach-Hommy spin silk out of the softest textures in their parents’ record collections. In the service of examining big ideas with grave consequences, we get to hear a master technician deploying every piece of ammo he has.


In times that are often beyond parody, Quelle has never been a writer to shy away from the absurd. But Guns is dotted with references to the very real, painfully ordinary fates that might befall us –– be they getting gunned down in church on a Sunday or simply being forgotten by our friends after we’re gone. In preparation for both, Quelle lays his psyche bare. Maybe his identity is best summed up by the three-word descriptor he gives himself toward the record’s end: “handsome, black, and headstrong.”


Quelle handles the vast majority of production duties himself, with assists coming from Dane and Chris Keys. Guns covers sonic ground quickly: it opens with the skeletal creep of “Spray & Pray” and closes with “WYRM,” which is sweeping and contemplative. In between there are detours to the lush and playful (“PSA Drugfest 2003”) and to the grim and digital (“Mind Ya Bidness”). As always, Quelle delivers music that’s innovative and idiosyncratic without sacrificing the gut-punch of more commercial releases; in fact, there are moments when Guns rattles trunks like few rap LPs in recent memory.


Slated for release via Mello Music Group on March 29, Guns is Quelle’s third studio album in three years: each Quelle Chris album is distinct and fully-realized: see 2017’s Being You Is Great, I Wish I Could Be You More Often, an off-kilter probe into the ways we see ourselves, or see last year’s collaboration with Jean Grae, Everything’s Fine, which was biting satire for the dawn of a new dystopia –– and which was adored by critics, being named to ‘best album of the year’ lists by countless publications, including Pitchfork, The Wire, and Bandcamp, who dubbed it the best album of 2018.


Guns is not content to rest on those laurels. “My goal with this and all albums is to create pieces people can enjoy, start to finish, for decades to come,” Quelle notes, fully aware that in a fractured, streaming ecosystem, any shard of your identity released into the world might be the lone artifact that survives. This is a record that is constantly aware of the peril all around us, but instead of shrinking in the face of that knowledge, it reasserts its creator’s identity. Aided by excellent guest turns from the likes of Jean Grae, Denmark Vessey, Cavalier, Mach-Hommy, Bilal Salaam, and more, Quelle Chris has delivered perhaps the most pointed, most personal, and all-together perfectly crafted album of his career.

credits

released March 29, 2019

All songs written by Quelle Chris
Produced by Quelle Chris, Dane, Chris Keys
Additional Vocals by Bilal Salaam, Shaka King, & James Acaster
Additional Instrumentation by Dane, Chris Keys, Eldar Djangirov, Daoud, & Paul "Bae Bro" Wilson

All Songs Mixed & Mastered by Paul "Bae Bro" Wilson
"You, Me & Nobody Else" Mixed by Dane & Paul "Bae Bro" Wilson

Art by Quelle Chris
Layout by Cavalier & Quelle Chris

license

all rights reserved

tags

Track Name: Spray and Pray
We load up lift and shoot
Nathan much else to do
Been packing since a yoot
Me and my bro-ito Scoo
Studied gunslinging from 89 to new thousand 2
Prayed if I paid my dues I’d grow big to be just like you
Some played the nest I flew
Trigger happy ass Q
Too immature to set safeties on, grow old and dig roots
Most of my day ones turned in they AKs for 401ks
And when I’m in love too drunk offa firepower to placate
So I load up life and shoot
Nathan much left to do
Sleek rifle look like new
Me and my bonnie nukes
Knowing the day will come when some youngin step to me spooked
Saying when they pay they dues they’ll grow up to bust like Q
All guns for hire Trying
Some targets set on truth
Just pray and spray you’ll find it
Endangered on the loose
Most choose to move in silence but no suppressor could mute
What lies within this chamber
No day is bullet proof
So we load up lift and shoot
Nathan much else to do
Been packing since a yoot
Me and my bro-ito Scoo
Praying the climate change in this game maintained by the youth
Watching em run and gun til they grow up to be like
Track Name: Guns
Just because you packing out here lax fam you ain’t Tupac
Granny keep a loaded 45 right inside the glove box
Brandon shot his first keystone ‘fore he could spell his last name
Jr learned to load from uncle Charlie at the card game
Kelly lit her school up like it’s 4th of July
Where she from them 22s more patriotic than pie
New year shoot up the sky
Shooters boot up and ride
Popos show up and fire
Know there’s nowhere to hide

Before I be in ya city
coming to ya city
I be in your city
Coming to a city near you
In your city
Coming to ya city
I be in your city
Coming to a city near you (2x)
(Why why)

I pull up get out shoot you right in the mouth
I boot up shoot up come right in ya house (4x)

They hollerin give me back my bullets
Lynyrd Skynyrd new Van Zants
If you own it then you’ll pull it
Maybe so. Probably not
They spend billions like civilians won’t catch trickle from the top
Just to protect or to progress what but little bit we got
Bruh bruh
I’m your friendly neighbor
I stay on yo block
I protect and service
I big game buckshot
Ain’t no cracking that code ain’t no safety on locks
Might as well get you one
Procrastinating will get you popped

Thats why I be in your city
coming to ya city
I be in your city
Coming to a city near you
In your city
Coming to ya city
I be in your city
Coming to a city near you (2x)
Track Name: Mind Ya Bidness
Me and mine bout to shine that’s for muthafuckin sho
Feeling vip fill a zip full a muthafuckin smoke
We got brown we got white and some muthafuckin Guinness
Ain’t nobody here tripping some mind yo muthafuckin bidness



I run game with the Jeanie no cheat codes
For the fill up psycho killing like devo
That shit we burn down in the house you bet not reach fo
Have a nigga praying to the lord Timmy Tebow
I ain’t trying to stunt
I post in the back
Can’t eat with them niggas
Most them niggas is actors
You ain’t got no homies
all your homies is rappers.
Mines rode for me then and they gone ride for me after
We got a big ass bong with some big ass blunts
Why you coming around
What yo butch ass want
Talking bout how you know me
No yo snitch ass don’t
I done done a bunch a shit that yo lil ass won’t

Me and mine bout to shine that’s for muthafuckin sho
Feeling vip fill a zip full a muthafuckin smoke
We got brown we got white and some muthafuckin Guinness
Ain’t nobody here tripping some mind yo muthafuckin bidness

Mind yo muthafuckin bidness


Couple spots on the list we bout to flip tonight
What we sipping hit a nigga like kryptonite
Ain’t no losing on this side my outfit survived.
If you get in where you fit in might switch ya life.
Want my money at the door like cod
Plus the crown hold it down like POP.
You in town tryin to clown on GOD
They gone shut the shit down only OG
I be Hollywood Hawking.
I might flex low key
I ain’t guest list trolling
I pull up just me
Pumping up how you buffing
bro you ain’t on team
If you ain’t fam now then you ain’t gone be
Track Name: It's The Law (Farewell Goodbye Addio, Uncle Tom) (feat Ugly Boy Modeling)
Let he who is without cast the first get out of our country
Oh the hypocrisy
Another tongue and cheek ode to the democracy
to help normalize the day to day atrocities
By the law of the land as planned by man upstairs from Lehem with the long blonde hair.
Oh the irony
all these multiculti hating whities who fetishize some brown on ivory
Aka bless the USA
And true blue bloods who trust American way
Hate in the name of love
Sin ain’t a sin if the pen pushes them vs us
From under the ship to behind the truck
Behind the truck to the back of the bus
Now we making it by going back where we was
Progress is a long road so buckle up cause

it’s the law
It’s the law nigga
It’s for me it’s for you it’s for all nigga
If God made the law you should follow it
Just like god made this dick you could swallow it
Bless the law
It’s the law nigga
It’s for them it’s for they it’s for all niggas
Cause god made the law you should follow it

Just like god made these balls
you got damn joke
1 oath your hope went up in god damn smoke. skin worn thin from the whips and the ropes. Yo I ain’t scholarly but why hate equality lest you despise my rise or think it brings you down with me. Monkeys who gang bang chained to the street honkeys with gang brain armed to the teeth. Both full of hate served on plates by the same chefs of death feeding open wounds open flames. You can’t handle the truth what they’d do to the least they’d do to the chief and the priest if they need. released binds and bonds buts our minds all fucked. Being the tried is a wild ride so buckle up.

it’s the law
Break the law nigga
It’s for white it’s for black it’s for all nigga
If God made the law we should follow it
Just like god made the heavens and the earth
And it was so
And God saw everything he made and behold it was very good

Dark skin nigga in a European suit
The whip that drive them shit is European too
My uncle tom went to Paris house with European views
Like hey nephew your black ass could be European too
Shooting dice with Kanye in a MAGA hat
The real niggas in they gucci couldn’t handle that
Two real niggas in Ralph Lauren trying to battle rap
Now that’s beef of the mind ate the whole cattle back
You mad my G he didn’t get the message
Went to the beauty supply store to buy him more oppression
The rigs of the mind the most lethalest of weapons
Imma need me some more white privilage and good credit
Goyard bags and yeah a real hood necklace
Still feel me a little disrespected
What I need more leverage when killing niggas in hoodies like that shit a hood fetish

it’s the law
It’s the law niggas
It’s for me it’s for y’all it’s for all of us
For the straight for the coochie and the ball lickers
It’s the law for the black for the white it’s for all of us
Track Name: Wild Minks (feat. Mach Hommy)
(Quelle)
John the Baptist wore wild minks
Strewn bout the room with a swoon and a wink
Big body Bethlehem links.
Top model playing piano while he thinks
What’s perfection when life’s interesting on the brink
Gregorian chants over drinks
Reverence from legends historians seek.
Tone of Charlie’s good grief
With the soul of James’ good feet
Those who never ate of strange fruits think his tooth is unique
Yet within his group he’s very couth at the least
Just well in tune with the movements of beast
In the dark age he was unphased by the new waves
And stayed true to his old ways
Word on the streets was that he parted seas with ease
and broke bread with saints and thieves
The shade of his sleeve was the same as the slaves to king
The ravens wit and the mood that brings
The understanding of the enemy and power in the song one sings
A boast that Joseph’s coat would beg to emote
Feasting on meats that was bled from the throat
Lambs and goats
Wiping the the grease from said treats on the sleeves of his coats
Messages received from burning trees was translated to tablets so the heard could read
Indeed he ghost wrote psalms but few saw him on the scene
Masterpieces for the paycheck said he wants the same they cut Mike for the Sistine
Been a umpteen since he pissed clean
and stopped attending lessons couple blocks from the bean
Don’t try to rewrite your story when you die
Johnny not wore wild minks and so will I


(Mach)

Little Johnny at the county fair managed the dunk tank
Salame was twerking on Herod
Her horse carriage was hunchback
The north star challenge was dumb packed
At the starting line 100 wise men 3 made the finish
What made you talk about him
He say forgiveness
Love is tremendous just don’t fall in love with the image
As below so above no pretending
Left a stain in the shape of his mug on the linen
Encumbrances sold drugs on the fences
For sustenance
He got a mean C-walk like Dub C
Fuck a plea he step into the court and give them suckers grief
Cup of tea
See
A thousand pigs drowned in a lake
Piece of cake
He in the state of G-race he in the Wraith
He awake. He could evade jakes and beat the case
Either way frequency mayday fucking with legal aid
Need a break
Track Name: Box of Wheaties V2 (feat. Denmark Vessey)
I’m balling y’all should put a nigga on a box of wheaties
I’m skating when I dip just put me on a box of wheaties
I flip it for the gold gone put me on a box a wheaties
I hold up weight these haters need me on a box of wheaties
I kick it they should stick a nigga on a box of wheaties
I run it it zero hundred put me on a box of wheaties
I par up bar for bar pa put me on a box of wheaties
I KO every day yo put him on a box of wheaties



Been on splash for 8 and a half feels Fellini
Back to back ain’t have no time for dancing off the TD
Keep my people with me like Kirk and GP
They cant see me say he hard to read like graffiti
Pen gym. bar work get ya numbers up
Rake up in fall no chill in winter lit the summer up
Oh you no nan y’all best start acting like you owe me some
My brothers no sleep and my sisters roll Dahomey cause



This shit right here
This my year
stepping out feeling the shit my dear
Forget those fears
Drip no tears
For the rear let me make it crystal clear (2x)

I’m balling y’all should put a nigga on a box of wheaties
I’m skating when I dip just put me on a box of wheaties
I flip it for the gold gone put me on a box a wheaties
I hold up weight these haters need me on a box of wheaties
I kick it they should stick a nigga on a box of wheaties
I run it it zero hundred put me on a box of wheaties
I par up bar for bar pa put me on a box of wheaties
I KO every day yo put him on a box of wheaties

(Denmark)

Oh you fresh now
Since the rider requests masala and eggs
Some caviar and French shit
Subscription to rich nigga monthly
With Shad Moss on the cover limited edition
My boot straps pull up
Track Name: PSA Drugfest 2003_Sleeveless Minks
This town ain’t the right size for you and I
6 million ways to fly who trying to die
The moon got a dark side. I know a guy
Who mix up a spliff like witches with newt eye
Cocktails unlike the Tom Cruise kind
Inhale choke up like a high noose tied
I’m too down like the blue towel
Alice the white rabbit and a white owl
Owwww
couple hits‘ll put ya lights out ciao
Some white boys bringing the pipes out wow
Spark Ls like dude getting the Dell
For what they sell in the tubes many sit a cell
Cotton mouth moving like Rochelle Farrell
Hit the harvest with clippers like Sam Cassell
Word to Dewey Cox you won’t get hooked ahk
Laced or dip that shit turn your eyes Fetty Wap
When that shit got lame we spiced up the game
Brought out the blades and lined up cocaine
Preferred off white but albinos okay
To balance out the jump we rolled it up js
Honey had the stylish chain with the scoop
4 troop packed in the stall like the coup
Spontaneous interludes in the nude like Luke
Musta been the X that made them look cute
No peer pressure this campaigns grass roots
Squad members hailing from the top to the bottom
From coast to coast toast gamora and sodom
We dying to die with mo problems.



Smoke em if you got em
Sip em if you got em
Pop em if you got em
Snort em if you got em
Shoot em if you got em
Eat em if you got em
Drop em if you got em
Take em if you got em
Chew em if you got em
Fuck em if you got em
Roll if you got em
(repeat)



Farming the fungus like Mario the plumber
You can smell the cocktail off the sweat from the summer
Double the ration last trip was a bummer
Had to hit the new connect my Bae Bro had the number
You know the steez some Gs hit pharmacies
Alchemy initially prescribed for they knees
Over the border or order from over seas
Or cop it off the corner
Know a family down the street
I support local business.
Plus the head stays grass feed
Til the eyes go blood red
Who dat grew this shiznit?
That shavelli had my wig split
O M Jesus
When we out of town hit the legal with the visa
Know a bunch a stoners down to roll up til you seizure
From coast to coast toast gamora and sodom
We dying to die with mo problems
Track Name: Straight Shot (feat Cavalier, Bilal Salaam, Eldar Djangirov, & James Acaster)
(Quelle)
All we need is just a straight shot from here
Everything is just a straight shot from here
Guaranteed it’s just a straight shot from here
Follow me it’s just a straight shot from here

Everything is just a straight shot from here
All we need is just a straight shot from here
Guaranteed it’s just a straight shot from here
I believe it’s just a straight shot from here

(Quelle)
I’m ok
Feeling like today
Towed by the wind
No fee no triple A
Used to treating frito lay like gourmet
Laughing
shit alright
Y’all ain’t gotta make my day I’m always making shit i like
You must think I’m bobo the the foolish
Hollerin bout relaxing while unloading all these full clips
Focused like I’m telling stout to holla while im preaching to the pulpit
I'm looking through and right above this bullshit
Maybe it’s the libra
Something bout that 50 50 in me
I’m a pessimist also a believer
Hopping off the precipice
Stop to sniff the green up
Take a few to let loose and bout half as much to clean up
If bitches loved Sosa
Joanie Chachi leant up
What’s behind the poster
Is it just as scenic
Living like I’m sposed to. Loving like I mean it
Ask him how he know. I don’t know I seen it
Trust me doe I seen it

(Bilal)
Everything is just a straight shot from here
All we need is just a straight shot from here
Guaranteed it’s just a straight shot from here
I believe it’s just a straight shot from here

(Cavalier)
There go Q talking’ me off a ledge again
A veteran of this Sisyphus stroll allegedly
I wanted off of this pitiful stone
Letting go was proving too hard for mission control trajectory
God please forgive my yesterdays
If we was ever at odds I guess that’s my test of fate
Would you believe I thought in the weight you’d suggest I take
That it couldn’t be more your regard for my inner strength
I guess I am human
The news like a rerun
The silver lining clouds exit mouths when the weed puffs
I had to make allowance on account that I need trust
To find my way up out of all this doubt that they feed us
Maybe its the Aries something bout the chances
The underdog’s plans just appeal to romantics
Maybe its the fairy tales of a boy king high in the camps
With just a sling in his hand that took a giant to pasture

(Bilal)
Everything is just a straight shot from here
All we need is just a straight shot from here
Guaranteed it’s just a straight shot from here
I believe it’s just a straight shot from here (2x)

(Quelle)
All we need is just a straight shot from here
Everything is just a straight shot from here
Guaranteed it’s just a straight shot from here
Follow me it’s just a straight shot from here




Who are you
What are you
And what do you want from me
Is it my money
My joy
My loyalty my compliance
Should I laugh
Should I cry
Should I fear
Why should I care at all
I don’t even know you
Yet still you are so close
What is it in those words you say
Each page you write
The twists of your dance
What are you and what have you done to me
Who am I now
What am I
What was I before you
Track Name: Obamacare
I’m trying to burn this bitch down
I ain’t trying to break in
Fuck yo opinion bout us to me don’t mean nathan
I Brought the wave brought the rain brought the lake in
Eyes on the cake and yours is for the taking
Wait man
Puffin Micheal Jordan catch a lot of air
Shutting down your city then we outta there
Everyone can get it like Obamacare
Keep it buddy they don’t problems here

Bucket over earlobes
headache under headdress
Grinding like I’m soon dying
Till I’m laid up bed rest
It’s Quelle Chris all day shit
I don’t need no playlist
Handsome black and headstrong
you nervous till they nails gone
Step out daddy long legs
Cab Calloway stride
Make a rapper freeze up like I was Zack in bayside
I be knuckle down ape
And bout my business back straight
I was never weirdo
They just had to acclimate
Please they grip the draws like coppertone dogs
But ain’t got shit to say like back when poppa doc lost
More reach than doctor ocs arms
Crazy trying to play me you better call saul
train of thought on track RR my r&r
Floating through the fog off more drugs than a debarg
Don’t think it wasn’t when it was he’s no mirage
This what’s happening it’s Rerun Dwayne and Raj

I’m trying to burn this bitch down
I ain’t trying to break in
Fuck yo opinion bout us to me don’t mean nathan
I Brought the wave brought the rain brought the lake in
Eyes on the cake and yours is for the taking
Wait man
Puffin Micheal Jordan catch a lot of air
Shutting down your city then we outta there
Everyone can get it like Obamacare
Keep it buddy they don’t problems here

I’m feeling like a million stacks
How de fuck you do
Seeing how you living bet you probably feel a buck or two
Hoe shit insured sucka proof
No deductible
Good neighbors with state pharmaceuticals by the bucketloads
That’s Big Green like ferrigno
if you down like feather pillows
We got wax without the earlobe
If you matching hold the euro
No tobacco just the pure smoke.
Powdered keif looking like churros
If you choke up you get higher
Word to Bridget and dinero
In a far south beach house
ashy ass Knees out
Barring up beats bounce
eating steak and eggs til my feet gout
Hippy type freak outs with woke whites who beast hype
Dropping n words for my nigga friends only black folks can recite
Thats free life
Thought he wasn’t when he was it
Been it from the beginning
Just getting better every minute
Smoking gun
Catching the killer and creator
Gave em 2 for 1
Don’t thank me later

I’m trying to burn this bitch down
I ain’t trying to break in
Fuck yo opinion bout us to me don’t mean nathan
I Brought the wave brought the rain brought the lake in
Eyes on the cake and yours is for the taking
Wait man
Puffin Micheal Jordan catch a lot of air
Shutting down your city then we outta there
Everyone can get it like Obamacare
Keep it buddy they don’t problems here

Dumping dutchie guts out the window
Keep it buddy strictly for the kinfolk
Lighting up the outdoor in the indoor
This ain’t for you this is for the kinfolk (2X)
Track Name: You, Me & Nobody Else (feat Jonathan Hoard, Jean Grae)
Who wanna be peanut butter with the mustard
when you could be honey pudding with the custard
We living like furs from sterling with the wing tipped gators
If a hater try to intercept latter days
Let me count the ways
we stay money like patent leather jays
Told me you love me and right then my whole life changed
That old cliche thought I’d never love again
And in you came
Trust a nigga take a good situation and burn it down
Yet every time we start walking way we start turning round
And every 180 just led to the greater now
I’m feeling like a youth again Eastlands and Eddie Bauer
Cool Water doo rag
We Lamont and Rollo you pitch a plan imma follow
No shlameil no shlamazel
no ordeal we can’t body hell
I put that on everything my grand mammy and mammy yeah
you me and nobody else.

Can’t be with nobody else
It’s you and nobody else
Can’t sleep with nobody else
Succeed with nobody else
Get free with nobody else
Co de with nobody else.
Just you and nobody else
You me and nobody else
You me and nobody else
Can’t be with nobody else
You me and nobody else
Can’t sleep with nobody else
Succeed with nobody else
Get free with nobody else
Co de with nobody else.
it’s you and nobody else


(Jean)
is even on my mind no question
no second guessing
could be the best at being just we and nobody else
no needing nobody else (2x)


I never would’ve imagined that we be an item
Become a better me for you good lord knows I’m trying
Every nights a slice of light
Every days exciting
No pressure put on to test us could break a diamond
Stop it’s shining
You my blessing all the best things
At times when I run a mess you keep my head clean
Plus the red 100 with the line under it
They say when love is looking you can’t hide from it
and now that it found me life worth waking up
To take time for shaping up
And when I win we win and spend it just how we rake it up
When life is too short to sit and wonder where it’s taking us
We grabbing reigns til wheels falling off the bus
High flying no JAG
We Lamont and Rollo I pitch a plan and you follow
No shlameil no shlamazel
no ordeal we can’t body hell
I put that on everything my grand daddy and daddy yeah
you me and nobody else.

(Jonathan)

is even on my mind no question
no second guessing
could be the best at being just we and nobody else
no needing nobody else (2x)
Track Name: WYRM
Will you remember me
I woke up at 5 in morning
Wondered why
When Every breath is just a step to death
Every GOATs another second best
When I die will I survive or will fade until there’s nothing left
A second guess before I a light orange and white up but im pressed
so the stress take another 0 and 1 lead
Ain’t been the same since since the 2B let it bleed through me
Swore I would join the 27 entertaining heaven
And live it up real proper king shit til they dead him
in between the lines of each rhyme is the same
Saying will you remember me
Am I just a moment for few to see
Another black face rapping nigga on a cash chase
Dozen for a dime
A penny for your mind
That one time
Hoping the next sleep that I meet ain’t the brother with a cousin named
RIP before his come up came
I know the game
Same one that had Pac in the tub wit the chains. Switching lanes.
Kane in the robe with Godivas
Growing pains family Seaver
Often understated but they need us
Will you remember me
Over 20 albums deep
And still a new artist every 2 harvests
Candid creep
Off another peak can it be
Closer yet further way every leap
Will you remember me

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