An Ode To Alchemist: Chemistry 115


Hi there, this post was inspired by the list Complex composed a few years back. Enjoy.

Nas – Book of Rhymes (2002)

I love everything about this. It’s smooth, and funky but also hard-as-fuck. You just have to nod your head to the beat.

He grabbed the beginning of Tommy Tate’s “For The Dollar Bill” and sped it up. He sampled a part of the song that sounds like a noise you would hear in television shows or movies to depict outer space. I like it! It sort of reminds me of the xylophone, and how the pitch increases or decreases as you hit the next key/bar.

Royce Da 5’9 – I’m The King (2001)

This is one of my earliest rap memories, thanks to this video game. I remember I would always choose the rap station to listen too while I was playing. That is where I first discovered this song.

He sampled “Stanley Kubrick” by R.A. The Rugged Man. He took the sample and made it a very integral part of the beat. This is dope. From the sampled vocals from Run DMC to the drums to everything else, it’s blended well.

Raekwon – Surgical Gloves (2009)

First off, Alchemist sampled a smooth, cool guitar riff from Styx’s “Castle Walls.” It adds to the overall grittiness feeling of the beat.

Its like Alchemist took a borough of New York City, loaded it in his MPC, and out came this beat. He was able to capture NYC. The beat is grimy, terrifying, tough, plus many other adjectives that aren’t coming to mind. This makes me want to go outside and commit crimes. This song could be playing as a montage of those crimes looped over.

Prodigy – Veterans Memorial (2000)

Alchemist went a different route with his sample. He grabbed a song from a Latin artist. He sampled the beginning of Luz Esther Benitez’s “Yo Tengo Un Amigo” and sped it up.

He added a few other elements and out came this. It sounds very minimalistic, which I like. Sometimes less or simple is all you need. It still gives off a chilly, eerie feeling but that’s okay. P.S. it’s this dude’s favorite song ever.

Mobb Deep – Got it Twisted (2004)

Such an awesome beat. I really like how it starts off. Those horns are dope. The drums are furious and hard-as-fuck.

The sample comes from the funky Thomas Dolby record, “She Blinded Me With Science.” The sample already gives off that eerie feeling. I pictured a mad scientist in his lab working on something evil whenever I hear this. It looks like Alchemist slowed it to give it more emphasis.


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