Tag Archives: Quadeca

Quadeca, “From Me to You,” and the Internet

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I do not often talk about music on this blog because I rarely have opinions strong enough to justify writing a whole article about them. However, this is without a doubt of of my favorite projects of the last year, which is strange because I definitely would not consider Quadeca to be one of my favorite artists. Still there is a lot to talk about when it comes to “From Me to You,” which is why I thought it was worth taking another post to explore. In particular, I want to take a bit of time to talk about the storyline of the album and some of the implications of its subject matter.

The story of course starts with the track “Sisyphus,” named after a Greek god who was cursed to push a boulder up a mountain only to have it fall over and over again. The track mainly concerns itself with Quadeca’s internal monologue, with the story of Sisyphus being used as a metaphor for his relationship with his own success and self-growth. Try as he might, the fear of getting to the top of that mountain, only to fall back down and have it start all over is a scary prospect.

While Quadeca, or at least the character that he plays in the album, is not the only one in this story. There is, of course, another, indicated in the chorus: “You’ve got a mountain of your own,” and throughout the rest of the album. So, who exactly is this “you?” Well, at first glance it might feel reasonable to answer that question with some variant of romantic partner, and to an extent, that is right. In the song “Shades of Us” he does mention that “[he] just wants love,” but also says that its “outside my reach, always inside my aim.” This would rather imply that he is currently single, so at best this might be addressing some future relationship.

Instead, the “you” here feels a lot more literal, as though he is addressing the audience directly. Quadeca appears to be telling both the story of his experience with internet fame, as well as reflecting on the creation of the album itself, both of which have come with their ups and downs.

This becomes much more apparent on the song “Smiling at the Ground,” in which he raps about a crazy fan who would rather see him break up with a potential girlfriend as opposed to being genuinely happy, as well as the music labels which resent him for staying independent. These things are so stressful that he “searches his fake name” only to be relieved when neither of them appear together with it. The following track “Can’t You See” also speaks to this idea as well, where Quadeca equates this Sisyphean journey to being “lost in the fog,” and that it is both “hard to stay, hard to stay gone,” again repeating the idea that his situation is very much damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

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While it is fair to say that most artists and/or people who create things, especially on the internet, hope for some level of success, it does not necessarily mean they want all of that attention at once, or even really at all. The process of virality, in which a person can become famous overnight, is an area that feels like it has been overlooked in cultural discussion. Having thousands or even hundreds of thousands of new eyes on you, as well as a mountain of new expectations can be incredibly nerve wracking. Even now that Quadeca has an established fanbase who probably will not abandon him, the fear alone can make an album that was supposed to come out in 2020 take a whole extra year.

Another major theme of the album is the idea of balancing work and the rest of one’s life. This theme comes to a head much later in the album on the three tracks “Burnin Bridges/Long Day,” “Work!” and “People Pleaser.” Each of these tracks aims to address a different aspect of Quadeca’s relationship with his work and how it has affected his other relationships.

“Burnin Bridges/Long Day” sees him playing the part of “the villain,” but also directly states how he’s “burning all [his] fuckin bridges til there’s nothin left,” and that he “trusts no one but myself, the only one that hasn’t fuckin left.” In other words, from his perspective, Quadeca is taking people out of his life who never really cared for him anyway. While this is a pretty common sentiment across rap as a genre, it feels even more important here given how the internal monologue established in earlier songs has made it clear just how much he doubts himself.

“Work,” in contrast, sees Quadeca satirizing the unhealthy relationship with work that many have come to understand as grind culture, or the idea that one should always be focused monetary or social gains, even at the expense of interpersonal relationships. Though it may not seem like it, the exaggerated lyrics as well as the fax machine noise which slowly ingrains and distorts itself into the beat make it fairly obvious. Some of the best lines, in this regard, are when he talks about “only loving you from like 3:15 to 5 PM,” as well as having “like twenty-five Red Bulls still tryna find them wings, like a blind Rick Ross.”

It becomes even more apparent when beat comes to a halt, and Quadeca talks about how “[his] mind got carpal tunnel” and that “[he] wants it all to double, even the stress, even the mess, even the largest struggle.” In this final verse, he point out how those who have bought into this grind mentality put themselves through all of this work, in part at least, so that they can where it as a badge of honor around others. The song “People Pleaser” serves almost as a prequel, describing how Quadeca’s innate need for validation from others got him into the cycle he is in, with the ever increasing quantities of money he manages to acquire never being enough for this “you.” The line “feelin’ like its eight-bit, lookin like its IMAX” also helps to reinforce the idea that, while his life on the outside looks great, self-doubt is still very much central to his problems.

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All of this comes to a pinnacle, almost literally, on the song “Summit Pt. 1” in which the major themes get reinforced. Despite how much progress has been made, both in Quadeca as a person and on the album itself, he still does not believe he has made it particularly far, evidenced by the refrain “And I’ve been lookin’ at the summit. They say we’re halfway there, I think we’re halfway from it.” Still, it would be unfair to say that he has made no progress at all, as it he also says that “me and my boulder grew a bond,” implying that, despite still not being confident, he has managed to get something of a handle on these mental burdens.

Additionally, the question of who exactly “you” is becomes an issue again, because although earlier in the album Quadeca implied a lack of romantic relationship, the song “Its All a Game” does seem to present a major romantic interest. Still, interpreting the “you” as still talking directly to the audience makes a lot of sense. When he says “I swallowed it, thank god that it was you that shared the key” in reference to the previous interlude, Quadeca seems to be saying that if there was anyone who he was going to share his most vulnerable self too, he would rather it be an audience that has expectations of him rather than random strangers.

The journey is still not going to end, both as an artist and as a person, until he meets his. In a way, acknowledging that “we’re halfway from it” is saying that not just he, but everyone has yet to reach their full potential, and although everyone might have a mountain to climb and a bolder to climb with it, seeing what is at the top might just be worth it.


There is a lot more about this album that I can and probably will talk about, from the incredibly constructing bars and ryhme schemes, as well as the amazing production. Still, if I did try and talk about it all in one post this would probably end up being a 20 minute read, and as someone with an incredibly small attention span myself, I do not want to do that to other people. So, have you heard “From Me to You?” What do you think of it? Let me know in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

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Quedeca’s “From Me to You” is Really, Really Good

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

I don’t often talk about music on this blog, and when I do, its usually in relation to anime or video games. A lot of this is because the music I listen to outside of anime and game soundtracks is, well…repetitive, to say the least. Most of it is Trap flavored Hip-Hop which I mostly use as a way to pass the time to and from work or on errands, when I am not listening to podcasts anyway. I say this as a way of prefacing that I do not tend to consume a lot of experimental stuff. Still, the album showed up in my recommended on Spotify, and, well, here we are.

I was always vaguely familiar with the sort of YouTube Rap-scene that developed in the mid-2010s because of how much time I spent on the site, especially in high school. However, the scene never stood out as being a group of “serious music makers,” even to dumb 15-16 year old me. Quedeca, in particular though, while certainly being above average in terms of his flows, rhyme-schemes and delivery, never felt like he was doing anything special. As Anthony Fantano put it, Quedeca has always felt like more of a chameleon.

I tried revisiting some of his 2019 project “Voice Memos” just to see if there was anything there I had potentially missed, and while there are definitely shades of introspection in some of the bars on that, it pales in comparison to his latest project “From Me to You.” The album is 18 songs and clocks in at just under an hour of total run time, and while that is certainly longer than the average Rap project, it is absolutely worth every second.

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There is…so much going on here. Quedeca’s reputation proceeded him a lot while listening to this album. For the first few tracks of the album I was confused and though maybe I had put on something else, but no. This is very much his project, and I say that pretty literally, as it appears most of the album was written, produced, and recorded by himself.

The production on “From Me to You” is probably the most surprising element of the album, especially considering what his production has sounded like in the past. Experimental is probably the most accurate way to describe it, but even that does not necessarily speak to the precision in which the sonic elements of the project are employed. It truly stands out as being unique to this album, and not something I could find by going to a Kid Cudi and especially not a Lil Uzi Vert.

Part of that is the noise and distortion that is present throughout many parts of the track list. The most obvious example of this comes from the opening song “Sisyphus,” which also serves as the thesis statement of the album, both in the production and writing. A lot of it is used to emphasize the heavier moments and to transition between different sections of particular tracks, such as “Burnin Bridges/Long Day” featuring IDK and “It’s All a Game.”

There is also just a ton of variety when it comes to the musical instruments used. “Sisyphus” not only has well made vocal harmonies backing up the song, but has piano, acoustic and electric guitar, ukulele, and drums all within a five minute time span. The violins on the intro to “Smiling at the Ground” were another element that really heightened the effectiveness of the track, and added to the overall atmosphere of the album.

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Good production can only carry an album so far, however, and as surprising as the production of the album is, the writing is where the album really shines. Much of the album is littered with imagery of mountains and the idea of climbing them. “Sisyphus,” which I mentioned before, makes this most apparent, as the title is a reference to a Greek god who, after cheating death multiple times, is condemned by Zeus to push a boulder up a mountain for eternity. The invocation here is meant to represent the loneliness and mental health problems Quedeca is dealing with. One line in particular that stands out with the track is “Even our bickerin’ getting nostalgic, all of those little things meld into mountains in my mind, uh,” which expands on the metaphor he has created by implying that his past struggles are something that he has to climb past.

This can be seen as well with some of the interludes that appear at various points in the album. “Verglas,” whose title refers to a frost typically found on mountains, has a similarly cold, yet inviting atmosphere which leads into “Maybe Another Day.” “Hallstatt” references a small Austrian town located in a mountainous region, which proceeds the track “Work!” with PlayThatBoiZay.

A straightforward reading of this album would be Quedeca reflecting on a past romantic relationship in which he acknowledges the struggles his partner had to go through, the mountains they had to climb, so to speak, but ultimately still wishing they could be together. While that is definitely a significant portion of the album, songs like “Smiling at the Ground,” “People Pleaser,” and “Summit, Pt.1” seem to confront another aspect of his struggle, which is dealing with expectations created by the parasocial relationships which exist for someone who makes YouTube videos and music.

There also appears to be a pretty explicit critique of this “grind” mentality which has come to dominate a lot of places on the internet. “Work!” and “People Pleaser” do this fairly effectively by illustrating that this mentality, while maybe netting some monetary success, is ultimately harmful by linking productivity with self-worth. These ideas come to a head on “Summit Pt.1,” where Quadeca reiterates the idea that he, along with everyone, is destined to climb up the same mountains, carrying the same boulders with us, only to fall back down. There is also a version of the glass half-empty, glass half-full idea present in the refrain, where he says “And I’ve been lookin’ at the summit
They say we’re halfway there, I think we’re halfway from it.”

Now, I do not want to make anyone think that Quadeca is somehow unique in his experimental sound. I know enough about modern music to know there are plenty of other artists who are similarly experimental in there Rap. Brockhampton immediately come to mind, and even some of the featured artists like IDK have been exploring new sounds long before this album came out. Even within the sub-genre of Emo-Rap, there have been a lot of interesting developments, with artists like the late Juice WRLD being at the forefront.

Also, the album is definitely not perfect. As pretty as they do sound, almost all of the interludes on the project overstay there welcome just a bit too long. Also, while there are some lyrical and sonic connections to the rest of the album, the track “Where’d You Go?” feels almost entirely unnecessary, and in a way kind of lowers the emotional impact that “Summit Pt. 1” has while listening through the album.

For those who did not give this album a second thought because of the name attached to it, I totally understand. However, even for those who are not particularly big fans of Rap and Hip-Hop, there is enough going on in the production and writing of “From Me to You” that it is worth at least a try.


Well, this is definitely my longest post in a while. Not really sure why, but I just felt a lot of love for this project after hearing it, so I wanted to write about it. Have you all listened to “From Me to You?” If you have, what did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!