In the age of Instagram, Twitter and inspirational quotes — it is easy to forget that negativity is actually a pretty natural emotion. Positivity cannot exist without it, just like love cannot exist without hate. On his new album, Being You Is Great, I Wish I Could Be You More Often (out today!) — Quelle Chris explores the idea of not necessarily accepting one’s flaws, but understanding that it is OK to have them. According to him, we just need to learn how to make them work for us. That is what makes life interesting.
On Being, the project features collaborations from Jean Grae, Elzhi, Denmark Vessey, Roc Marciano and a few others. Quelle invites us to a musical therapy session where he searches for a sustainable balance between self-confidence and doubt. Through self-reflection, humor and honesty — the Detroit rapper reminds himself and us that we’re all great not only in spite of our flaws, but because of them.
Our imperfections make us perfect.
In this turbulent political climate, it is essential for us to get our own hearts and minds right before going into battle. We have got to fight our own inner critic before we can even think about fighting the power. Being You Is Great, I Wish I Could Be You More Often is our first therapy session of the new year with Quelle Chris as he discusses the human emotion complex, balancing self-confidence and self-doubt, plus why he chose to focus on himself instead of the orange slice running the White House.
Lastly, watch his brand new video from the project, “Birthdaze,” below. Enjoy!
Okayplayer: I read that a real-life discussion inspired the title of this project. Can you elaborate on that?
Quelle Chris: Really the best way to put it is there are times when you’re everything, when you’re Superman. And then, there are times when you’re fucking up. You know a common thing said in those times is like, “Man, how come some days you’re doing so great and then like some days you’re just fucking up. Why can’t you be great all the time? Why can’t you just not be fucking up?” So, that is the conversation that led to me sitting and smoking a square. I then said to myself, “Being you is great. I wish I could be you more often,” and that is where the title came from.
OKP: So, “Being you is great…” That’s you giving yourself positive self-talk. Telling yourself you’re great?
QC: It is a mix of things. It is complex as human emotion is complex in itself. It starts with you and then it goes [out] to everybody else. On one end, it is me not necessarily calling myself “great,” but it is talking to my great self and saying that “you are great.” It’s almost as if there are two meanings, y’know? At the same you’re saying, “Being me is great. I wish I could be you more often,” you’re outwardly looking at other people who are doing better than yourself—or at least who I feel are doing better than me—and saying, “Being YOU is great.”
OKP: Would the world be better if we were superheroes without any flaws or do our flaws balance us?
QC: Of course. Not only do we need them, we can’t get rid of them. I think it is learning to work with those flaws and make the most of them that makes life interesting, and y’know, [makes] love interesting, friendships interesting and music interesting.
OKP: How did making this album help you to come to or strengthen that realization?