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Diggin In The Crates: Alchemist



By @TrueGodImmortal



Alchemist, a producer out of California, has been rather prolific over the years, showcasing his boom bap production with a soulful and gutter sensibility. After being in the game now 20 years as a producer (he started out rapping as a part of the Whooligans before trying to get on as a producer), we wanted to pay homage and talk some of his best beats and some of his slept on beats. While we can't list them all, I think we compiled a nice list for the readers. I tried to avoid including his own great albums, his instrumental series, and such on the list, because it is better to just digest those tracks on your own, than to get a brief description here. His extensive discography spans so far, this was fun to look at. Let's get into it.







*Mobb Deep- The Realest (1999)
-This was my first introduction to Alchemist. It was truly murderous as the drums and bass line started off this track, and I instantly would start bopping my head along. The song itself is a classic, but the production is truly what carried over to the next level. Amazing production and a great way for me to be introduced to Alchemist.

*Dilated Peoples- The Main Event (1999)
-The contrast in what Al did for the Mobb versus his early Dilated production is crazy. This isn't aggressive or soulful, just carried by simple drums and a simple rhythm, a pattern you'll catch on to eventually.

*Prodigy- Keep It Thoro (2000)


-This was really when I knew Al was something special. Prodigy was bring nothing but the raw shit on his debut solo and this production would provide a perfect backdrop, with the knocking drums and layered sample. The chemistry between Al and Prodigy was off the charts.

*Jadakiss and Styles P- We Gonna Make It (2001)
-Yet another sample, and possibly his best production commercially, Al helped give Jada's first album the perfectly balanced street single and commercial single. With a great breakdown of the drums, and the sample being complementary to the vocals, this is an absolute gem to listen to.

*Styles P- Black Magic (2002)
-This soulful yet somber production allows Styles to drop some real lyrics and Angie Stone adds amazing vocals in the background and on the hook. I think this is a timeless production, as it's simple but so flawless in execution. I love this song.

*Nas- No Idea's Original (2002)
-Flipping a known Barry White classic to help set up one of the greatest displays of lyricism in hip hop, Al came through with a very simple yet perfect production. The sample stabs through with Nas' words and the blend between lyrics and production make this one of Nas' greatest moments and subsequently Al's.

*Nas- Revolutionary Warfare (2002)
-If only Nas used production like this more. The soulful sample really makes this song, as Nas and Lake spit some fire over this knocking banger. Al really had the best production on God's Son, this was probably the best beat on the album.

*Sheek Louch- Turn It Up (2003)
-This was before Al really found his particular lane and while this isn't one of his best, it's an interesting track. Carried by a simple rhythm and minimal drums, Sheek creates a pretty dope track overall.

*Dilated Peoples- Poisonous (2004)
-Devin the Dude assists on this more uptempo and upbeat track. Not the usual soul sample, this is carried by a simple piano loop and layered drums. I enjoyed the simple rhythm.

*Mobb Deep- Got It Twisted (2004)


-When this song first hit, I just noticed the sample. She Blinded Me With Science was instantly recognizable and the way Al flipped it and let Mobb rock over it was absolutely brilliant. Great production.

*Mobb Deep- Win or Lose (2004)


-This is a top 10 Alchemist beat for me. The chops in the sample, the signature Alchemist drums and beginning, the way the sample beautifully carries the hook, hands down this is a classic. Jean Plum and the vocals in her sample are magnificent. If you don't remember this track, check it out ASAP.

*Alchemist, Prodigy, Nina Sky- Hold You Down (2004)
-This was the heyday of Alchemist to me. The samples were aplenty and the always featured vocals. Flipping an overused sample, Alchemist puts a new spin on it and this is one of my favorite joints from him production wise. His whole 1st Infantry album had solid production, but this is my favorite track off there.

*Snoop Dogg- Intro (I Love To Give You Light) (2004)
-Al takes us to church on this opener to Snoop's amazing R&G album. Great sample, great choir like vocals, dope drums, this is once again everything you love from Alchemist all wrapped into one big production.

*Prodigy- Return of The Mac (2007)


-This entire album is a prime example of what I referenced earlier by the chemistry between Al and Prodigy. Hands down, every track on this one is certified greatness, but if I had to choose my personal favorite tracks production wise, my top 3 would be "Stuck On You", "The Rotten Apple", and "Bang On Em". I also have to mention the dope Barry White sample on "Stop Fronting", which has such grand production.

*Pharaohe Monch- Desire (2007)
-This sounds like a 1st Infantry leftover, but I mean that in the best way. The sample is triumphant, the drums knock, and it blends perfectly with the hook and Monch kills the verses. Classic.

*Evidence- Chase The Clouds Away (2007)
-The beat sounds like something that I would spit my soul over, despite the upbeat feel of the production. It's soulful torture almost, as the sample is slightly haunting, but it's a very dope production.

*Prodigy- Young Veterans (2008)


-The production here is almost mafioso-rap like, as it inspired P to talk some of his toughest shit in a while. The guitar riff sample really was

*Fashawn- The Antidote (2009)


-Producing an entire album for the West Coast spitter, Al gave Fashawn some great beats such as "What's Your World", "Gone In 60 Seconds", and "Shall Come A New Name". Fashawn is underrated in general, but with Al production behind him, he sounds really dope.

*Inspectah Deck- The Champion (2010)
-Deck tends to be slept on as an MC, but he spits over this triumphant instrumental and Al gives him knocking drums along with a perfect sample. If you've never heard this one, check it out. It's a great production.

*Blu- doowhop (2011)
-The first time I heard this track, I was blown away. Not only are Planet Asia and Blu spitting classic shit, Al gave them a simple but effective loop that was so infectious, I could hear the sample in my head for days. Al can get intricate with production, but his simple loops usually are the dopest that he makes. Soulful and hip hop to the core.

*Curren$y- Covert Coup (2011)


-The EP from Spitta and Alchemist is one of the biggest things that truly set off his ascension to cult like status as an artist. "Success Is My Cologne", "Ventilation", "Smoke Break", and "Scottie Pippens" are some of the best production here. This might be the best work of Al's career. Every beat is flawless.

*Raekwon- Ferry Boat Killaz (2011)
-I wasn't a huge fan of the Shaolin vs Wu Tang album, but I loved this particular track. Al gave a dizzying production here, and the track is carried by the horn and sample stabs with minimal drums. Rae goes on in this one.

*Domo Genesis- Til the Angels Come (2012)


-Another dope soulful production where Domo, Prodigy, and Gibbs kill a breezy yet boom bap track provided by Al. Gibbs kills his verse, as does Domo also, and this track might be an underrated classic. Alchemist has a lot of those.

*Durag Dynasty- Spudnik Webb (2012)
-Soulful. The sample is amazing, the drums are minimalist, but that works perfect for the lyrical slaughter that these MCs bring to the table. Amazing production here, without the boom because it wasn't necessary. Slept on joint.

*Prodigy- Albert Einstein (2013)


-This is yet another example of greatness for Prodigy and Alchemist. While I prefer Return of the Mac, this is a solid album with the soulful sounds of "Give Em Hell" and ruggedness of "Bible Paper" to speak of as noteworthy. Prodigy sounds reinvigorated on these Alchemist beats.

*Schoolboy Q- Break The Bank (2014)
-Q gets a fire production, with inspires some of his best rhymes, as the knocking drums carry this beat, with the sample taking a bit of a backseat. Definitely great track however.

*50 Cent- Body Bags (2015)
-50 was on the comeback trail via The Kanan Tape and he sought out Alchemist to give him the traditional gutter sound that he needed. Ruggedly soulful and a bit aggressive in production, this was a great way for Fif to get back on track.

*Curren$y- The Carrollton Heist (2016)


-Curren$y and Alchemist have some great chemistry and Spitta has great production choices. This is yet another example as the two combine for an entire EP of beautiful samples and great drums. I'd give the nod to "Cartridge" as my favorite off this one.

*Havoc and Alchemist- The Silent Partner (2016)


-I haven't been able to fully digest this album, but the production is amazing. Al and Hav showcase that they have the great chemistry that Al has with P as well. Check this album out.

There's so many more productions, as Al has such a vast catalog, but these are just some of his strongest and his best. Check out more of his production catalog and enjoy the soulful and boom bap rhythms.

-True 

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