Eleven years ago, The Alchemist dropped his album, a certified banger, 1st Infantry. I wasn’t as aware of him as I am now. So when I somehow made my way toward this album, and heard the music, I was blown away. The beats were top notch.
THE ALBUM WAS FUCKING DOPE.
One of the reasons why I gave the album a chance was because of a rapper who was killing it in 2005: Game.
He dropped an amazing debut album. Then, his career did a 180-degree turn. He went from riding for G-Unit to gunning for them. All within five months. That five-month span was from the release of his debut album to the beginning of summer. By summertime, he was on a tear, turning G-Unit soldiers (fans) into G-Unot ridaz. To me, it felt like west coast fans had to rep G-Unot because they felt an obligation to Game since he was from L.A.
Game’s arrival couldn’t have come at a better time. The west coast was waiting for someone to act as a savior for our region. Game was it or closes to it. He made people listen to other artists because: a) he was featured or b) he co-signed/was affiliated with them.
Game wasn’t the only reason why I decided to check it out. It was the final factor although.
The tracklist look promising, and it was! It had an all-star lineup with Dilated Peoples, T.I., Stat Quo, Lloyd Banks, The Lox, Nas, Mobb Deep and M.O.P to name some.
But like I said, Game was the deciding factor. He was on the second track of the album along with Prodigy.
So, you know I had to check it out.
I heard that song, and immediately thought it was dope. The beat was something serious. It creates a reaction almost instantaneous. Before I heard their verses, I was already bobbing my head uncontrollably. The beat was hard as fuck.
The Game brought me in but the beat made me stay. The beat reeked of grittiness. It had a gangsta feel to it. Its like Alchemist bottled a blend of Compton gang life meets New York City thug, and somehow recreated that in a song.
Back then, I knew people who wanted dope, hard, banging beats. These were popular because it allowed someone to really test out his car’s music system.
I remember this one occasion, back in one of the neighborhoods I grew up in. A dude that my brothers and I grew up with had recently purchased a Chrysler 300, you know, that car that wants to resemble a Bentley.
I remember we were on his street, near his house. Either he was leaving or was just getting back, I don’t remember. All you heard were loud thuds from his speakers down the street. He pulled up next to me, and that’s when I heard this song. I don’t even think he knew who produced it, nor do I think he knows now. All I knew is he was playing the song because Game was featured. I bet it was either my brother or I, who gave him the album with the song on it.
Back to Alchemist.
That beat did something to me. It lit a fire inside me. The light bulb in my head went off, it said, “This is a dope beat. I wonder if he has any more songs.” That curiosity led me to check out his album.
I believe I was aware of the first single, “Hold You Down,” so I had some idea of the album’s sound. Although I didn’t really enjoy “Hold You Down,” the strength off “Dead Bodies’” dopeness alone made me peep the album.
I’m glad I did.
The album blew me away, exceeding any little expectations I had.
Currently, it’s one of my favorite albums ever. The Stat Quo track, the Dilated Peoples track, the Banks track, the Nas track, BANGING! The beats are incredible. Alchemist is incredible.
I went from not knowing anything or very little about Alchemist to knowing a lot and becoming borderline stan-ish for the dude, even dedicating a series of blog posts to the man’s incredible music.
My appreciation for Alchemist should be created to Game and “Dead Bodies.” If I hadn’t heard that song, I would’ve never discovered Alchemist. Well, that’s kind-of far-fetched. I bet I would’ve found him eventually but I may have missed out on the incredible 1st Infantry album. I’m glad I discovered him when I did. His production and output has been amazing and key to my music appreciation and discovery.
(Photo Credit: MissDimplez)