The following was originally published at Ongoing History Of Protest Songs.
Quelle Chris is a Detroit-based indie rapper who is known for his eclectic brand of socially conscious hip-hop.
In 2018, he and his partner Jean Grae released the well-received “Everything’s Fine,” which was one of the best protest albums of 2018. He is following it up with a solo album “Guns,” which is due out March 29, 2019.
Quelle Chris described the motivation behind the album on his Bandcamp page: “‘Guns’ is an arsenal of both sounds, styles and subjects. At its core, it’s about things that can be weaponized for good or evil, including ourselves. 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. Somewhat a sonic study of the question “do ‘guns’ kill people or do people kill people?”
The album’s first single and title track is an insightful examination of different aspects of American gun culture. For example, it refers to school shootings with the lyric: “Kelly lit her school up like it’s 4th of July / Where she from them 22s more patriotic than pie.” America’s love affair with guns, along with easy accessibility is a contributing factor to school shootings.
The lyrics also explore the cycle of gun violence with the line: “Ain’t no cracking that code ain’t no safety on locks / Might as well get you one / Procrastinating will get you popped.”
Instead of common sense gun control, there is a segment of politicians and gun lobbyists that point to more guns as the solution. Exploiting people’s fear is a way to earn more blood money.
Until people start valuing human lives over profit, Quelle Chris’ song will resonate as there are more victims of blood-stained capitalism.
Listen to “Guns” by Quelle Chris: