An Ode to Alchemist: Chemistry 111


I’m back at it! It’s been a while since I did one of these, so here goes the latest entry!

The Alchemist – Dead Bodies feat. The Game and Prodigy (2004)

This shit is still hard! Back in ’04, I was in my old neighborhood, and one of the dudes I grew up with—he was older and a friend of the family—had just gotten the new Chrysler 300. He wanted to test out the stereo—I can’t remember if it was stock or a newly installed system, but I remember he was cruising down the street blasting this, mostly because it featured Game. I’ll never forget that.

The drums, the kick, the keyboard, the sample, all intertwined perfectly.


Currensy – Ventilation (2011)

This shit is dope, but you should already know that.

The sample, taken from Serge Fiori and Richard Seguin’s “Deux Centes Nuits a L’heure,” is a simple, slow piece of music. Al sped up the tempo and made it an integral part of the beat. It’s such a mellow beat, perfect for someone to light something up and zone out or travel to a peaceful place—mentally or physically—and relax.


Big Pun – Mamma (2001)

Not going to lie, I first heard this beat on Dilated Peoples “Heavy Surveillance.” On the Dilated song, the beat was used along with several other Alchemist beats. I heard it, and it made me seek out the original.

The beat is dope. That guitar riff is ill. It came from Hugo Montenegro’s “Classical Gas” record. The sample was slower but Alchemist tweaked it and increased the tempo. That’s one thing I like about this beat, it sounds Latin inspired. It sounds like a salsa record, like you could picture a woman dancing and moving her hips.


The Alchemist – Acts of Violence feat. Crooked I and Oh No (2009)

It’s hard not to bob your head to this beat.

Alchemist sampled the dope guitar riff and keyboard from Renaissance’s “Ashes Are Burning,” and made it the basis of the beat, by looping it. The sample is great on its own. The bass guitar riff sounded funky. Meanwhile, the keyboard sounded frightening and eerie, it’d fit perfectly in a horror film’s score. I love it.


Rakaa – Upstairs (2010)

This beat is different, not what you normally would hear coming from Alchemist, which is the reason why I fuck with it. It’s a beat that you can easily zoned out to, and just think about life.

It’s very simple, minimalistic. That can be credited to the dope sample from Jericho Jones’ “Mare Tranquilitatas.” The sample features a slow, peaceful guitar riff with a hardly noticeable crashing cymbal. It seems Alchemist didn’t do much except add an extra-terrestrial-like sound—that are often found in Dilated Peoples records—and a finger snap. It’s so simple, yet so perfect.

(Photo Credit: Evidence)


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