By Eli Schoop, Copy Editor
[Mello Music; 2018]
Key Tracks: “Gold Purple Orange”, “Peacock”, “Breakfast of Champions”
Husband and wife duos in music are nothing new. See: Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz, Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore (rip), Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham (noticing a pattern here?). But rarely is it done in rap, a genre where individuality is prided on more than any other. To buck this trend takes skill and gusto, and both Jean Grae and Quelle Chris channel their newly married energy into something fun and worthwhile, separating themselves from the rest of the pack.
You looking for trendiness? This ain’t the album for you. Grae and Chris are adamant in their own style, providing jazzy beats and funky rhymes whilst not relying on retroism to buoy their music. The end result feels fresh as hell, with songs like “Gold Purple Orange” sounding akin to a squad cut yet carried by these virtuosos of the mic. They’re almost prog rock-esque in their experiments, slickly measured from the schools of the Fugees and Funkadelic. The duo’s chemistry is palpable, with a winking knowledge that even though things might seem like hell in a handbasket, we carry ourselves and each other to the end with hope in our hearts.
Everything’s Fine predicates itself on these burning questions: “How will we survive?”, “Is there any point in trying?” and “Y’all got any jokes?”. It’s an album full of humor, introspection, depth and genuinity, facing the now with a brave spirit. Regardless of some simpering midpoints, the husband and wife team deftly swerve any bullshit coming their way, and breezily calm our nerves with some of the best punchline rapping you’ll hear all this year. Everything may not be fine, but this album sure is.