Jean Grae and Quelle Chris
Mello Music Group
Underground hip-hop legend Jean Grae and Quelle Chris officially have zero fucks to give on their new ‘Everything’s Fine’
By Nathan Leigh
April 4, 2018
On their new record, the bitingly funny Everything’s Fine, Jean Grae and partner Quelle Chris officially have zero fucks left to give. It’s an acerbic attack not just on those who complacently reply that things are “fine,” but a reminder to the millions of insta-woke think-piecers out there that not only is everything not fine, but it’s never been fine.
Bound together by the over the top interludes “Everything’s Fine,” “Don’t Worry It’s Fine,” and “Everything’s Still Fine,” the collection tears apart arguments for complacency piece by piece. Jean Grae (who rarely does anything less than brilliant) is at her best here, with her wit and lyricism on full display, particularly on the single “Zero.” (Whose video is the current contender for video of the year as far as this writer is concerned). Highlights like “Smoking Man” and “Ohsh” give space to talented guests like Denmark Vessey and Hannibal Buress. It’s telling of the tone that so many of the guest spots though are comics. Whoever said stand-up was the new punk rock was actually predicting Everything’s Fine.
For an album this acidic in tone, it could easily fall on its own bleakness or warp into cynicism, but something weird happens over the course of 15 tracks of biting social commentary: it slowly morphs into hopefulness. Nick Offerman’s reverberating “They won’t come for you” echoes into darkness, and the album finds space for the idea that despite all the bullshit, life is worth living. “Everybody waiting for the moon to come around.” By “River,” the tone has fully softened. Quelle Chris’ production is solid throughout, but on “River,” he pushes it to new heights. It’s an anti-nihilism anthem in an era that needs more of these. Stream the whole record below.