An Ode To Alchemist: Chemistry 107

alc jump

(Instagram: alanthechemist)

For this entry in the Chemistry series, I decided to shed some light on beats will a dope guitar track. He often incorporates amazing guitar riffs in his production and leaves the listener scratching their head with admiration, how did this son-of-a-bitch, mean that as a compliment, create such a dope beat?

Action Bronson – Gateway to Wizardry feat. Styles P (2012)

Two beats in one. At first, Alchemist hits us with a futuristic-slash-psychedelic beat then follows it with an eerie, darker beat. Near the midway point, you hear horns and suddenly, a gigantic riff explodes on the track.

The first beat Alchemist hits us with is a mixture of different sounds. A bit weird, but the different elements work well and form an interesting, screeching, eerie bond. Then at the midpoint, he drops that riff, taken from Cos’ “Boehm.” The volume on the riff seems louder and easily stands out. It’s as if it was amplified to a higher decibel.

Lil’ Wayne – You Ain’t Got Nuthin feat. Fabolous and Juelz Santana (2008)

This beat samples an ill guitar riff from Joan Armatrading’s “I’m Lucky.” The sample was originally slower but still as dope. So, after Alchemist sped up the tempo, he made it the basis of the whole beat. Not a bad thing, At. All.

He followed those amazing and inescapable guitar riffs with some hard-hitting, repetitive drums that are dope by themselves. He threw in a clap to accompany the drums and created a gritty beat.

Roc Marciano – Ten Toes Down feat. Knowledge the Pirate (2013)

This beat is so smooth. The soulful and jazzy guitar riff is dope. It’s different as well. It’s not as loud, dark or tough as the other beats on this list but rather it’s smooth, lenient and funky.

The riff easily stands out. I mean, there’s a snare and drums underneath that complement it but they play second fiddle to the guitar. The riff seems louder and makes it easier for the hear to catch. It’s inevitable. It’s a combination of smoothness and funkiness, a perfect combination that Alchemist cooked up.

Gangrene – Dark Shades feat. Evidence and Roc C (2012)

From the beginning guitar riff to the riff heard throughout the beat, they takeover and make this beat. Those three plucked strings from the guitar mesh well together and give off a creepy feeling. The riff heard throughout the beat does too. They both seem amplified, which adds to that darkness feel.

That, along with what I imagine are, multiple piano keys, create a horror-like scene. The piano keys(?) give a throbbing-like effect as if someone was slamming their fingers into the keys hoping for a louder sound.

The Alchemist – Tesla feat. Domo Genesis, Freddie Gibbs and Hodgy Beats (2013)

This beat reminds me of “Paint It Black” by The Rolling Stones. The sequence of the cinematic, terrifying piano keys resembles the melody of “Paint It Black.” That quick, repetitive, striking sound is imitated on Alchemist’s beat. It’s such a memorizing sound that is easily recognizable and memorable.

Also, pairing the keys with a loud and blowing trumpet is a great complement. After the minimalistic piano keys, Alchemist hits us with those loud, lively, and impactful horns. Both sounds create such a vivid sound together. They mesh well. Alchemist killed this beat.

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