An Ode to Alchemist: Chemistry 109


Back at it with another entry into the Chemistry series, the in-depth look at a legendary producer’s catalog.

Gangrene – Brass Knuckle Rap feat. Guilty Simpson (2010)

This shit is striking, dark, eerie, and dope rolled into one. The opening has a man making an announcement trying to calm the crowd down, which is a perfect analogy for this beat. The marching steps add to the beat’s already dark mood. It feels as if we’re headed to war. The whole beat gives off that feeling of running out and cracking skulls.

The drums are hard as fuck. The piano loops are frighteningly dope. All I could picture was Alchemist playing the keyboard in pure darkness, with Einstein hair, as thunder and lighting were in the background.

Saigon – Stocking Cap (2003)

The sample (or samples) is (are) amazing. The song samples Brotherly Love’s “I Don’t See Me In Your Eyes Anymore” but that sounds similar to the version from The Glass House. Either way, the sample is dope.

I’ve heard a similar beat from an affiliate of Alchemist. The only difference is Alchemist’s beat is more up-tempo and the drums aren’t as slow. Speaking of the drums, they’re accompanied by a throbbing and dope tuba sound that is sort-of buried in the background. Simply put, this beat knocks.

The Alchemist – Tick Tock feat. Nas and Prodigy (2004)

This beat is a paradox. It’s smooth but still hard as fuck. Although it’s smooth, it still gives off that street and gritty feel that a lot of Alchemist productions have.

The sample, Side Effect’s “The Loneliest Man in Town” is sped up. It was originally slower in tempo with the instrumentation spread out, but Alchemist fucked with it and made it one. He added some drums and a dope, unforgettable piano loop and out came this banger!

Infamous Mobb – Mobb Niggaz (The Sequel) feat. Prodigy (2002)

I first caught this beat on a track by his good friends. They killed it.

Anyways, this beat has those blasting horns in the beginning of the beat that I love. He sampled them from a surprise source, Mexican artist Marco Antonio Muniz’s “A Donde Quieras.” He went to the right place for horns, since Mexican music favors the brass family. Also, he sampled Francois de Roubaix “Adieu L’Ami” where he sped up the sample and added his boom-bap sound with some hard drums.

The Alchemist – I Know Your Name feat. Lil’ Wayne and Travis McCoy (2009)

This beat might sound familiar to some people. It is smooth. Every little tweak made, makes this beat dope. The choir-like vocal is an awesome addition. It adds a touch of soulfulness to the beat. I liked how Alchemist teased us for a bit with some harmonization before dropping the beat.

I really fuck with the rolling drums. The part where the drums meet the crashing cymbals with the choir-like vocal in the background, oh my God, is amazing, easily my favorite section. Plus, that guitar pluck is a nice, funky touch.


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