quelle chris & chris keys contemplate life on “sudden death”

February 7, 2020

In the past decade, Detroit-bred, New York-based rapper and producer Quelle Chris has distinguished himself as an MC who truly lives up to the lofty title of “artist.” He eschews dogmatic, self-serious, keep-it-real-ism of underground/indie hip-hop to create music and visuals that paint an abstract picture of life’s paradoxes with humor and poignancy. Whether it’s the self-examination of life as a musician and the opposing feelings of feelings of self-aggrandizement and self-deprecation that come with it, on 2017’s Being You Is Great, I Wish I Could Be You More Often, or meditations on American culture’s obsession with firearms, on last year’s Guns, Quelle’s output is always intriguing but never predictable.

The melancholy yet profound version of Quelle is back in his latest collaboration with producer Chris Keys, in the video for “Sudden Death.” Directed by Dominik Galleya and Clemens Niel, the video features Quelle as the last living man in a world where everyone else is sprawled out or slumped over. The apparent corpses go well with the track’s somber pianos — but in contrast with a song seemingly about second chances and fresh starts in life.

“It cant all be all sudden death.
We’re so much different than the rest.
Just clear that desktop start fresh. Just let your seat back take a breath.
You’ll find it’s worth it cause life ain’t perfect.”

It sure isn’t, but great art like this makes the experience much more bearable.