Here’s the second volume of my Ode to Alchemist series, where I pay homage to some of Alchemist hardest and memorable beats, in my opinion of course.
Evidence – So Fresh feat. Alchemist (2007)
The epitome of a west coast-inspired beat. This song is California. It gives off such a chill, beach-y, “let’s hang out” vibe. The scratches and the long instrumental at the end are a perfect touch to it by allowing the listener to paint a picture of a beach or something relative.
The beat paints a picture of someone hanging out on a sunny California day and doing anything. From hitting the beach to cruising around to skateboarding to hollering at women, it’s the perfect soundtrack for a good day/summer day, err, almost any day in Cali.
Jadakiss – We Gonna Make It feat. Styles P (2001)
This record is a masterpiece. From the drums to the clap to the violin, it all flows well together. Alchemist entwined a dope beat and gave this heater to one of New York’s hardest rappers to rhyme over.
The clap is hard because it reminds of a church service where everyone is singing along with the choir and clapping their hands in sync. The Samuel Jonathan Johnson “My Music” sample is beautiful in itself. The violin and trumpet are amazing. The end result with sample in tacked is so soulful.
Mobb Deep – Win or Lose (2004)
This is so soulful, too. Alchemist gave Mobb Deep a tough beat that features some of the hardest drums I’ve heard.
Jean Plum, who’s “Here I Go Again” is sampled, provides the vocals on the song. And she provides a beautiful, soulful addition to the hard-hitting Alchemist drums and kick. I want to say that the sample makes the song better especially how Plum sings win or lose. That emphasis on “lose” is dope.
Evidence – Born in L.A. feat. Chace Infinite and Sick Jacken (2007)
This song is hard as fuck. Not only can Alchemist produce a gritty, New York street record, he can switch coast and produced a thumping, California street record. Those drums, THOSE DRUMS! Man, they are ill. Play this shit loud, and try not to bob your head. I dare you. You simply cannot. Just hearing the beat makes me pictured the ‘hood and everything associate with it.
What’s crazy about it, and dope also, is that he sampled a piano section from Fred Myrow and Malcolm Seagrave’s “Phantasm” soundtrack, specifically, “Welcome to Morningside/Hand In Box” and slowed it down. Amazing.
Cam’ron – Wet Wipes (2006)
I’m surprised these two didn’t connect before this. Cam’ron is a New Yorker and Alchemist supplies rappers with that gritty New York sound. This sounded different than what Al was making at the time. It sounds sped up rather than his typical slow-down sound. The kick he added to the drums was a great addition. Plus, the way he arrange the song was ill.
He sampled Earth & Fire’s “Memories” and chopped up the beginning. He took the first part of the song where the band is playing this dark, gothic sound, sampled it and killed it.