The Alchemist is a 43 year old producer, DJ & rapper from Beverly Hills, California who started out as 1/2 of the duo The Whooliganz in 1993 with Scott Caan. They would only disband a year later after recording a debut album that eventually got shelved & Scott went onto acting like his father, but Mudfoot on other end quickly established himself as one of the greatest producers in hip hop history with a resume including ranging names from Mobb Deep to even Eminem. Over this past spring, he produced the latest Armand Hammer album Haram to universal acclaim & followed it up his 9th EP This Thing of Ours a month later. But now in light of the confirmation that he’ll be producing the next Earl Sweatshirt album, Uncle Al dropping a sequel to his latest EP hopefully as a little warm up.
“Miracle Baby” by MAVI is a heavenly opener proclaiming himself as such whereas “Lossless” by MIKE serves as a jazzy boom bap follow-up talking about never losing. The song “Flying Spirit” by the Bruiser Brigade works in a drumless loop for the group to proclaim their work isn’t done while the penultimate track “Wildstyle” by ZelooperZ has a more ominous sound showcasing his wordplay. “6 5 Heartbeats” by Vince Staples ends the EP by somberly recalling his youth.
Uncle Al has made it known that he’s one of the most consistent producers in the game & it’s no surprise that This Thing of Ours 2 wound up being a little bit more enjoyable than the predecessor. Another notable factor of it is that he brings in some less-bigger names into the fold & give them the exposure they truly deserve.
Evidence is a 44 year old MC/producer & former graffiti artist from Venice, California coming up in the early 90’s as part of the trio Dilated Peoples alongside Rakaa & DJ Babu. He’s also established himself as a solo artist along the way, dropping his debut album The Weatherman under ABB Records in 2007 & making himself at home with the renown Minneapolis powerhouse Rhymesayers Entertainment since ‘09. Last time we heard from him was at the beginning of 2018 when he dropped Weather or Not & now after putting out 3 singles throughout this spring, Ev’s making his return by putting out his 4th full-length album.
“Better You” kicks things off as a grimy ode to self improvement with The Alchemist on the boards whereas “Start the Day with a Beat” jumps on a jazzy boom bap instrumental from the weatherman himself to say he’s a rare breed. Ev tells listeners to sink or swim on the guitar-laced “Sharks Smell Blood” just before addressing the shit he’s been dealing with on the Animoss-produced “Pardon Me”. Boldy James tags along to reminisce on where they started for the psychedelic “All of That Said” & then going on to speak about someone whose heart has gone south on the forlorn “Won’t Give Up the Danger” with Mr. Green on the boards.
Things go back into boom bap territory with the help of Daringer on “Moving on Up” as he & Conway the Machine talk about how they’ll never stop chasing their dreams leading into the stripped back, sincere “Talking to the Audience” produced by Khrysis. Meanwhile on “All Money 1983”, we get a soulful look-back on when Ev met Al Pacino almost 40 years ago before bringing in a vintage sample on “Pray with an A” for him & Navy Blue to look back on their past.
Lost in Time (Park Jams)” speaks on smoking weed at a park over a heavenly instrumental from Nottz while the Fly Anakin-assisted “Delay the Issue” is a luxurious reminder that life is too short. The penultimate track “Taylor Made Suit” is a bluesy cut produced by V Don about how his funeral suit is the same as his wedding suit & the the album ends with the churchy “Where We Going From Here…”, which is about how it’s the first day in a while where he woke up on the right side of the bed.
From front to back, this is a really dope album in my book. It’s refreshing to hear him move away from the weather-theme of his previous solo output, his writing is clever than ever & the production is on point as well.
This is the 9th EP from Beverly Hills producer, DJ & emcee The Alchemist. Coming up as 1/2 of The Whooliganz in 1993 with Scott Caan, the disbanded a year later after recording a debut album that eventually got shelved & Scott went onto acting. Mudfoot however, quickly established himself as a household name in hip hop production by working with a handful of the culture’s most iconic names ranging from Mobb Deep to Eminem. Last thing we heard from him solo wise was The Food Villain back in October & after producing the new Armand Hammer album Haram to universal acclaim last month, Uncle Al is staying busy by amassing 6 emcees for This Thing of Ours.
The opener “Nobles” weaves in a Sun Ra sample as Navy Blue & Earl Sweatshirt trade bars back & forth with one another while the next song “TV Dinners” is a bit oxymoronic with it’s calming instrumental along with Boldy James & Sideshow declaring themselves as soldiers through the lyrics. The penultimate track “Holy Hell” by Maxo & Pink Siifu goes on about the devil wanting their souls over a guitar & a vocal sample before Earl returns to talk about people nickel & diming on the trumpet-heavy closer “Loose Change”.
Not the best EP we’ve heard from The Alchemist, but still an enjoyable listen. His production is a lot more chilled out in comparison to Haram & despite a couple of the guest MCs providing weak verses, most of them do what they do best.
The Alchemist is a 41 year old producer, DJ & rapper from Beverly Hills, California who started out as 1/2 of the duo The Whooliganz in 1993 with Scott Caan. The duo disbanded a year later after recording a debut album that eventually got shelved & Scott went onto acting. Alchemist however, quickly established himself as a household name in hip hop production by working with a handful of legends from Mobb Deep to Eminem. He dropped a short 4-track EP back in April of this year called Lunch Meat & now he’s following it up with this 6th EP right here, which is equally as long as the predecessor.
The EP kicks off with “Ray Mysterio” by Hall ‘N Nash, where Westside Gunn & Conway deliver their signature gritty street bars over a smooth yet mystic sounding instrumental. The next track “Roman Candles” by Black Thought & Roc Marciano sees the 2 getting boastful over a jazzy beat while the penultimate song “Mac 10 Wounds” by Conway talks about how he’s not weak over a sinister beat. The EP then finishes off with E. Coli by Earl Sweatshirt, where he gets spiritual over a harmonious vocal sample & some strings.
Even though I would’ve loved 3 more tracks just like with Lunch Meat, this is on par with it’s predecessor in terms of length, production dynamics & passionate yet raw lyricism from beginning to end. Hopefully, Uncle Al drops something bigger as we head into 2019.
After releasing 2 instrumental albums at the tail-end of last year, renown Beverly Hills producer The Alchemist is now coming through with a 4 track EP. The EP begins with “Dean Martin Speaks” by Roc Marciano, where he delivers some pretty gritty street bars over a haunting instrumental & the next song “Judas” by Hall ‘N Nash is pretty much Westside Gunn & Conway dissing trash rappers over an eerie beat. The track “The Hopeless Romantic” by Action Bronson gets braggadocious over a jazzy yet soulful & the final song on here “Massacre” by Styles P & Benny gets mafioso over a gritty instrumental. The last 4 tracks of this thing are pretty much the instrumental versions of all the tracks I just mentioned & that’s fine with me.
Overall, it’s definitely a great project. I wish Al added a couple more tracks, but it’s well produced as expected & the performers fit over them fantastically
A little over 4 years since his magnum opus Cats & Dogs, Dilated Peoples member Evidence finally delivering his 3rd full-length solo album & his 2nd with Rhymesayers Entertainment. The album starts off with “The Factory”, where he tells you that you’re rocking with the west over an eerie boom bap beat. The next song “Throw It All Away” gets inspirational over a somber beat from The Alchemist while the track “Powder Cocaine” sees him & Slug talking about internal conflict over a mellow vocal sample. The song “Jim Dean” vents about a slew of things to the listener over a boom bap beat from Nottz while the title track brags about his rapping prowess over a DJ Babu instrumental with some strings & explosive drums.
After the “Moving Too Fast” interlude, we then go into the next track “Runners”. Here, Ev & Defari go back & forth in battle rap mode over an explosive beat with a nice soul sample. The song “Bad Publicity” is another humble brag with some semi-dinky keys & hard hitting drums while the track “Rain Drops” gets insightful over a meditative instrumental. The song “Sell Me This Pen” sees the Step Brothers & Mach-Hommy talking about their talents over an eerie beat while the track “Love’s a Funny Thing” is Ev linking up with Rapsody & Styles P to talk about love over a boom bap beat with twinkling piano keys .
The song “10,000 Hours” touches down on his come up in the game over a gritty beat from none other than DJ Premier while the track “What I Need” gets reflective yet ambitious along with wanting to be remembered over a laidback beat. The song “To Make a Long Story Longer” continues talking his about his come-up over an explosive boom bap beat & the Jonwayne verse was just as much of an intriguing story. The penultimate track “Wonderful World” sees Ev & Rakaa getting on the motivational tip over an organ-laced boom bap beat & then the closer “By My Side Too” is an endearing soulful ode to his son & his breast cancer surviving wife.
So with the first month of 2018 drawing to close, Evidence does it justice by providing a serious contender for Best Album of the Year. It stays just as consistent as the predecessor throughout it’s 56 minute runtime, the production is organic of course & Evidence staying as equally focused along with pouring his heart out on just about every single track