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Rap - Released March 30, 2018 | Mello Music Group

Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
Jean Grae is surely the most talented female rapper of her times. On the scene for over twenty years, she has always been in the forefront of what has sometimes been called alternative rap, alongside Talib Kweli, Mr. Lif and 9th Wonder. Her music is set apart by her gobsmacking technique, her constant research, and an unparalleled sense for mockery. At her side, Quelle Chris is an extremely creative all-rounder who takes great pleasure in subverting established conventions, whose roots are in J-Dilla’s Detroit. The major thing he shares with Jean Grae is a heightened sense of independence, a determination to follow his one’s path. They are both lodging in today’s best label for independent innovation: Mello Music Group. The encounter of tradition and experimentation brings a multitude of colours to Everything is Fine. Full of improvisations that verge on free jazz and analogue distortions, Quelle Chris’s production and Jean Grae’s ideas open up a mysterious space. Jean Grae takes centre stage lyrically with lines that always contain the right dosage of cynicism and a regal performance, in particular on the bouncing “Gold Purple Orange”. Quelle Chris always punctuates these bravura sequences with his own deep and enveloping voice, adding a different flavour with a ludic touch. The boundaries are fluid. Over a psychedelic rock breakbeat, the duo indulge themselves and invite offbeat comedian Hannibal Buress onto “Ohsh” for a pitch-perfect sparring match. In fact, contrary to what the title says, nothing’s going well, everyone knows it, and the duo uses this double discourse to develop some very intelligent little pieces on the nature of happiness. By working on the idea of “wellbeing” in the modern world, they create some often-dystopian vaudevilles recalling the finest hours of MF Doom, Cage and Run The Jewels. These echoes sound the loudest on the labyrinthine “Zero”. With some very filmic synths, the album closes on some lighter notes, in particular drawing on some brilliant turns from Anna Wise. Very profound, Everything’s Fine is a masterpiece among the output of these two artists; it’s a joyful meeting between two rebellious spirits whose content is sure to inspire reflection on a number of subjects in our societies – while having a lot of fun with the form. © Aurélien Chapuis/Qobuz    
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Rap - Released September 21, 2004 | Babygrande Records

This Roots associate's second album, following 2003's The Bootleg of the Bootleg EP, is a loose concept record about a week in her life. The ups, the downs, the come-ons, the threats, the observations, the actions -- it's all in there, it all fits together, and it all transpires without the MC having to cram an inhuman amount syllables into one breath (as she has before). Jean Grae continues to improve in every respect, but the negative aspect is that too many of the beats bleed into one another. None are certifiably lifeless. But, when strung together, they add up to an album that numbs the mind around the second half. In one respect, it's a blessing in disguise -- you often have to recall the words, not the sounds that support them, in order to distinguish one track from another. Given the range of emotions and subjects Grae covers so well, that's not so hard to do, and in turn that shortcoming makes you appreciate her all the more. Lyrically, she isn't quite as ill-tempered as she has been in the past, though her takedowns -- when they do come -- are more vicious than ever. Try "Whatever"'s "Verbally hang thee with these third-degree burns/Upon your fannies/And your balls ripped off/Course it's all talk/I'll lick off the potshots and cut your d*ck off/And sell it like it's porn to the pawn shop/I try to stop the bad things but they stay on top." A promising thing is that Jeanius -- an excellent album written and recorded in five days, manned entirely by 9th Wonder (producer of Murs' Murs 3:16, Jay-Z's "Threat," and one of This Week's highlights) -- sidesteps the issue at play on this album and is promised to be released soon. Leaked well before This Week saw the light of day and already catching attention, it stands a chance of gaining the MC the level of respect she deserves. ~ Andy Kellman
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Rap - Released October 7, 2003 | Babygrande Records

Jean Grae begins The Bootleg of the Bootleg EP with the aptly titled "Hater's Anthem," proving that all the acclaim accorded to Attack of the Attacking Things did nothing to soften her. If anything, she's more hungry than before. In "My Crew," she delivers some her most devastating lines yet: "Rap's dead, rap sucks/Thanks to y'all for killin' it, grillin' it down, and spillin' its guts and fillin' it back up with trash." Whether you agree with her views or not, the talent is more than enough to keep you paying attention. Although the EP hosts an almost completely different crew of producers (including Babygrande A&R figure Ruddy Rock, Bravo, Block McCloud, and Will Tell), the gritty textures and soul samples are still in effect, suiting Grae's tough, agile, nothing-fancy flow. Ironically, the only weak spot is "Swing Blades," where she's joined by Cannibal Ox. Just as notable as the five tracks that make up the EP proper, a not-so-hidden hidden track features 45 minutes of freestyles and stray material (making the disc lengthier than Attack of the Attacking Things), including a bit where Grae raps over an instrumental of Jay-Z's "Excuse Me Miss." It works much better than it should. ~ Andy Kellman
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Rap - Released March 25, 2008 | Babygrande Records

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Rap - Released December 21, 2010 | Babygrande Records

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Rap - Released March 25, 2008 | Babygrande Records

After the New York underground outfit Natural Resource split in the late 1990s, Jean Grae took a few years to emerge and receive the proper industry recognition. Still, a substantial number of her solo recordings from the early 2000s failed to make it onto any LP. THE ORCHESTRAL FILES brings together the best of these cuts, showcasing Jean’s talents for wordy, intricate rhymes. This deluxe edition features a bonus CD that includes a miscellaneous collection of Jean’s many collaborations and appearances alongside such artists as Talib Kweli, Guru, and Da Beatminerz.

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