There’s no denying the monumental influence The Alchemist has had on the hip-hop landscape. With a discography as varied as it is vast, each record stands as a testament to his innovative and distinctive approach to beat-making. From his early beginnings in Beverly Hills, The Alchemist, born Daniel Alan Maman, has taken the hip-hop world by storm with his ambitious and stylish production style, forging a path that many would follow.
One can’t overlook the dramatic flair and undeniable intensity of “This Thing Of Ours” or the solid beats on “Rapper’s Best Friend 6: An Instrumental Series”. Then there’s “Bo Jackson” and “Super Tecmo Bo,” albums that defy expectations with their inventive blending of genres and abstract lyrical landscapes. How about “Continuance” and “The Elephant Man’s Bones”, with their poignant narratives and intricate instrumentals that transport listeners to distant corners of the cognitive map? Even daring experiments like “The Alchemist Sandwich” and “The Great Escape” hold acclaim as testimonies to his fearless artistic spirit.
The Alchemist’s enduring relationship with hip-hop runs deep, both as a producer and a rapper, and his discography is a testament to that. Collaborative projects like “No Idols”, “Flying High”, “The Elephant Man’s Bones The ALC Edition”, and “Faith Is A Rock” are just a few examples of his uncanny ability to bring other artists into his sonic world without losing his unique touch. His most recent outing “VOIR DIRE” proves, yet again, that his ambition and creativity are far from depleted.
Each album in The Alchemist’s discography is a masterclass in storytelling, creating vivid musical landscapes that continue to push the boundaries of what is possible in hip-hop. So let’s get into it. From “This Thing Of Ours” to “VOIR DIRE”, here are all albums ranked from The Alchemist:
34. Russian Roulettte ( 2012 )
If you think you know hip-hop beats, get ready for a wild ride! Alc took us on a groovy journey, sampling heavily from Soviet-era music to craft a uniquely cohesive soundscape. This album was no short of innovation, fusing psychedelic rock, soul, and jazz elements with traditional boom-bap beats. It’s thematically offbeat, filled with vivid imagery and somewhat surreal vibes. The use of Russian dialogue snippets and tunes gave it an experimental and cinematic feel, transporting listeners halfway across the globe. Standout tracks like “Decisions over Veal Orloff” and “Never Grow Up” featured an eclectic mix of lyricists from Action Bronson to Roc Marciano, asserting Alchemist’s undeniable versatility as a producer. What “Russian Roulette” lacked in commercial popularity, it more than made up for in creativity and ingenuity, proving that this hip-hop maestro doesn’t play by the book – he writes his own script. Can’t do nothin’ but respect that!
33. Albert Einstein ( 2013 )
Released in 2013, it harked back to the ages of boom-bap dominance and gritty narratives. The Alchemist’s production was a multi-layered maze, with haunting samples navigated by exemplary lyricism from Prodigy. Tracks like “Give Em Hell” exuded a grimy underbelly vibe, underscoring the duo’s knack for unmasking the savage beauty of the streets. Standouts like “Dough Pildin'” illuminated their subterranean prowess, a lexicon of the asphalt jungle served over beats as hard as concrete. The album didn’t necessarily tear up the charts, but solidified their positions in the pantheon of hip-hop connoisseurs. “Albert Einstein” was a compelling testament to their ability to craft spine-tingling narratives, as raw as they are compelling – all rooted in the unforgiving yet inspiring asphalts of New York City. This was a masterclass in street reportage, perfectly encapsulating their essence.
32. The Cutting Room Floor 3 ( 2013 )
Released on Christmas Day 2013, it was Alc’s gift to all the hip-hop heads out there. A brilliant piece of work that’s nothing short of a time-capsule, with Alchemist digging deep into his archives to pull out some nuggets of pure gold. This mixtape was like a finely curated Hip-Hop potluck, hosting a heavy roster of lyricists from Raekwon to Mobb Deep and everyone in between. Known for making beats that fit the artist like a well-tailored suit, Alchemist’s production skills flexed from gritty New York street anthems to mesmerizing, soulful tunes with a timeless appeal. It’s a show-and-prove of hip-hop craft steeped in authenticity, and a reminder of Alchemist’s abilities to create magic. Despite its name, nothing about this album felt like leftovers – it’s all prime cuts!
31. Israeli Salad ( 2015 )
This instrumental album, chopped and diced from a stash of Israeli records Al stumbled upon, takes us on an extraterrestrial journey through the middle-eastern soundscape. From the opening track, “Arrival,” you can feel a certain magic in the air – the beats undulate like sand dunes, raw and unfiltered. “Collage Pt. 1: Sunrise” to “Collage Pt. 3: Sunset” forms the core of the experience, a dreamy, echoey blanket of Middle Eastern essence. Alchemist cleverly uses snippets of soul, jazz, and funk to create an intoxicating blend. It’s a psychedelic voyage that warrants repeated spins just to absorb the full spectrum of influences and samples. Even without lyrics, it has its own narrative, a testament to Alchemist’s beat-making prowess. Few can cook up a salad this tasty and still make it sound so unmistakably hip-hop. It’s a daring exploration of sound, affirming The Alchemist as a chef in both title and trade.
30. Retarded Alligator Beats ( 2015 )
This instrumental album, devoid of contributions from the MC’s Alchemist usually surrounds himself with, allowed his production skills to take center stage – and boy, did they shine. Alc flipped samples with the dexterity of a seasoned chef working his magic in a Michelin-starred kitchen. The beats oozed with a unique blend of abstractness and precision, from the eerie, creeping rhythms of “Holy Tabernacle” to the atmospheric, jazz-infused “Summer Maddness S.A.” Although “Retarded Alligator Beats” didn’t climb the Billboard charts or achieve multi-platinum status, it underlined Alchemist’s ability to consistently cook up exemplary beats irrespective of commercial expectations. The album stands as a testament to Alchemist’s daring ingenuity, solidifying his place as one of the most innovative beat-makers in hip-hop. For purists and audiophiles alike, this was Alchemist at his untamed best.
29. The Silent Partner ( 2016 )
Alchemist’s hard-hitting, gritty beats formed a perfect soundscape for Havoc’s gritty narratives, making tracks like “Buck 50’s & Bullet Wounds” and “Impose My Will” resonate with an authentic Queensbridge vibe. The album was steep in NY’s golden era street essence, a sonic journey back to the days of Project hallways and gritty borough anecdotes. The Alchemist’s dense, sample-laden production meshed with Havoc’s unfiltered street lexicon, resulted in rough gems like “Smooth Ride Music” and “Hear Me Now”. The production was a direct continuation of what made Al a beloved figure in hip-hop, while lyrically, Havoc showcased why he is regarded as one of the most authentic voices in the game. An underrated banger, “The Silent Partner” stands as a testament to the potency of Alchemist’s production when coupled with a seasoned scribe.
28. The Good Book, Vol. 2 ( 2017 )
2″, a divine opus crafted by The Alchemist and Budgie, proves that hip-hop is indeed a form of spiritual expression. This 2017 collaborative project isn’t just an album; it’s a holy gathering of hip-hop’s disciples unified by Alchemist’s instinctive beat selection. Tracks like “Pray For You”, “Floor Seats” and “Brother Jedidiah” are lyrical psalms blessed with golden-era grit and contemporary consciousness. With guest features from legends like Mobb Deep, Evidence, Action Bronson, and Conway, each track feels like a sermon from the Mount Sinai of hip-hop. Budgie’s gospel and soul-infused samples on the second part of the vinyl bring a contemplative balance to the Alchemist’s hard-hitting streetscape compositions. In essence, 2″ is a bible for hip-hop heads, an edifying exploration of faith, survival, and human failings, all constructed around an auditory altar built by two of the culture’s most consecrated beatmakers.
27. Lunch Meat ( 2018 )
Consisting of four instrumentals and four vocal tracks, Alc cooks up his signature gritty, sample-heavy beats for a platter of hungry emcees to feast on. Collaborations with stalwarts like Roc Marciano and Westside Gunn serve as the main course, while Action Bronson’s flavorful lyrics on “The Hopeless Romantic” act as the perfect dessert. Notable track “Dean Martin Steaks” is a straight head-bopper, capitalizing on Alchemist’s knack for balancing boom-bap aesthetics with melodic inventiveness. It’s a sonic spread that satisfies and leaves you salivating for more. “Lunch Meat” is a testament to The Alchemist’s artistry, proving versatility and relevance are key ingredients in his chef-d’oeuvre.
26. Fetti ( 2018 )
It showcased Alchemist’s unparalleled skills as a maestro of mood – a consummate craftsman of crate-digging masterpieces. The introspective vibes of “The Blow,” the gangsta grandeur of “Saturday Night Special,” and the smoky after-hours ambience of “Location Remote” – every nuance orchestrated by The Alchemist delivered impeccably. With lyrical titans like Gibbs and Curren$y flipping verses over his lush, layered productions, “Fetti” was no trick, but a treat for hip-hop heads. It didn’t conquer the charts, but won unanimous acclaim among fans and critics, further burnishing The Alchemist’s legacy as one of the game’s most treasured beat machinists. It’s a masterclass in collaboration – a demonstration of how artistic energies can coalesce under the aegis of shared vision and mutual respect, resulting in a body of work that vividly stands out in The Alchemist’s overflowing discography.
25. Yacht Rock 2 ( 2019 )
It rocked the boat in 2019 with a stellar ensemble of emcees delivering heat over Al’s expertly crafted soundscape. The project saw The Alchemist flexing his musical muscles, showcasing his stylistic range by infusing hardcore hip-hop with elements of soft rock. From Action Bronson’s dynamic display on “Tropical Storm Lenny” to Benny The Butcher’s lyrical slaughter on “Boat Shoes,” the album was a smorgasbord of diverse, top-tier talent sailing over The Alchemist’s intricate beats. His ingenious manipulation of samples and his knack for blending hip-hop with unconventional genres illuminates here, creating a sonically pleasing voyage from start to finish. Despite its playful title, “Yacht Rock 2” is anything but a leisurely ride. Instead, it represents a challenging and rewarding journey that reaffirms The Alchemist’s status as a pioneer and innovator. Charted positions or not, this was another testament to Alchemist’s undeniable genius.
24. Lamb Over Rice ( 2019 )
This 7-track serving boasted classic Bronson features, but Alchemist’s hypnotic sampling and distinctive production methods took center stage. From the overall vibe of “Dmtri” to the smoky, laid-back beats of “Just The Way It Is,” Alchemist showcased his uncanny ability to layer and loop samples, creating beats that are smooth, intricate, and heavily textured. Bronson, ever the lyrical glutton, served up delicious wordplay with his food and pop culture references, perfectly balancing the weighty introspection of tracks like “Accoutrements.” A brief yet fulfilling project, “Lamb Over Rice” offered a gourmet spread of hard-hitting bars and captivating production, proving that the Alchemist-Bronson recipe is one that consistently delivers flavorful hip-hop palettes.
23. The Price Of Tea In China ( 2020 )
This album, with 12 tracks, serves as a testament to the producer’s deft touch with soul sample-infused beats – a sonic canvas that amplifies Boldy’s gritty street narratives. Standout tracks like “Carruth” highlight Alchemist’s talent to create a meditative soundscape, fostering an atmosphere that’s as murky and heavy as the tales Boldy paints. The album has an introspective tone, inviting listeners to delve deep into its layered narratives and delicately woven beats. This project reflects Alchemist’s unrivaled ability to adjust his style to complement his collaborator’s cadence and flow, creating a unified artistic vision that’s both cohesive and compelling. The Price of Tea in China, ultimately, served up a refreshing brew of hardcore hip-hop, laden with raw emotion and intricate artistry.
22. LULU ( 2020 )
This seven-track project is a display of raw, uncut lyricism perfectly latched onto Alchemist’s grimy production. The atmosphere is hauntingly cinematic, with Conway narrating tales of street survival and the price of success over Al’s perfectly tailored beats. From the gruff honesty in “Calvin” to the ominous intensity of “They Got Sonny”, the album serves up a visceral narrative of life on the streets. Standout track “14 KI’s” demonstrates Alchemist’s ability to forge a menacing ambiance, while Conway spits fire with an unflinching delivery. “LULU” is perceived as a short, but potent dish served from the grimy kitchens of hip-hop, combining Conway’s rugged bars with Al’s gourmet beat selection. The project stands tall in The Alchemist’s discography as a powerful exhibition of his unmatched ability to craft soundscapes that amplify and enhance a rapper’s essence, an undeniable testament to his formidable mastery of the hip-hop genre.
21. Alfredo ( 2020 )
From the arresting opener, “1985,” The Alchemist sets the tone for an album that’s both contemplative and atmospheric. Graced with an eclectic mix of samples from soul, funk, and progressive rock, the album serves as a backdrop for Gibbs to unload his vivid street narratives and biting social commentary. Tracks like “Scottie Beam” and “Frank Lucas” are heavy hitters, while “Something to Rap About” reflects Gibbs’ introspective side amidst a slow-burning, piano-laced beat. Alchemist’s textured production complemented Freddie’s penetrative lyricism, making “Alfredo” a sublime sonic pasta tossed in the gritty sauce of street life, and sprinkled with introspective thoughts. The album deservedly snagged a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Album, further cementing Alchemist’s status as a high-caliber producer in hip-hop. Celebrated and beloved, “Alfredo” is complex, satisfying, and intentional – true gourmet hip-hop.
20. A Doctor, Painter & An Alchemist Walk Into A Bar ( 2020 )
Released in late 2020, this EP is a remarkably concise yet effective representation of the producer’s ability to meticulously blend various sound elements into a cohesive whole. The use of abstract sounds and warped samples makes it feel like an immersive sonic journey. It’s the kind of project that doesn’t need vocal wizardry; the beats tell stories themselves, luring the listener into a dreamlike realm. The project’s standout track, “Alan”, unveils Al’s adeptness at weaving atmospheric beats that are layered and texturally rich. Although it might not be a traditional hip-hop album, it reinforces Al’s stature as a sound alchemist and reinforces why he’s regarded as a maestro of his craft. With this album, he’s not just walking into a bar—he’s leading the march into unexplored sonic territories.
19. The Food Villain ( 2020 )
This album ain’t your standard course – like if your chef served you some deconstructed foie gras on a graffiti-edged platter. It’s packed with experimental beats, unexpected samples, and humorous interludes, evoking a sort of “kitchen madness” vibe. While largely instrumental, the album’s few vocal moments feature Action Bronson and Big Body Bes dropping their seasoned bars. The cuts are short, more-ish, and continuously evolve throughout, much like a multi-course tasting menu that leaves you keen for more. Each track, though brief, is layered with complex sounds, displaying Al’s skillful manipulation of samples; the dude’s a wizard with a stack of vinyl and a sampler. It’s an album that demands repeated listens to catch the subtleties – a testament to The Alchemist’s ability to push boundaries while keeping his roots firmly planted in hip-hop’s rich soil. Immerse yourself, and you might just discover your new favorite dish.
18. Carry The Fire ( 2021 )
You know, Alchemist, Mr. Alan Daniel Maman, has built a rep for impeccable sample selection and masterful beat construction, and this joint ain’t no different. It’s 12-tracks deep and pure instrumental. No rappers guest spittin’, just Alc lettin’ the beats breathe. The flavor is that gritty, stripped-down, sometimes eerie, minimalism that’s his trademark. Highlights like “Chess Piece” and “Stained Glass” show Alchemist in his element, putting together soundscapes that hit in the gut. You can almost picture the underground New York scene from where he draws his inspiration. When it comes to “Carry The Fire,” it’s strictly for the heads. A thought-provoking soundscape that reflects the genius of one of the game’s most respected beat smiths. It’s albums like these that put Alchemist in the conversation with Premier, Dre, and Dilla. Straight up!
17. Haram ( 2021 )
Dropped in 2021, it’s a dense, intricate opus that demands you sit down, listen, and feel the raw emotions spilling over each track. This ain’t your typical radio-friendly rap album, nah. This be a soundscape painting pictures of struggle, resilience, and the harsh realities of life. Alchemist’s production, gritty as asphalt, perfect foil for Armand Hammer’s rhymes. Tracks like “Sir Benni Miles” and “Wishing Bad” are prime examples of the unique alchemy between the beats and rhymes. Alchemist’s knack for murky, tweaked samples, and looped eccentricities creates jazz-infused beats that challenge as much as they reward. When the last track, “Stonefruit” wraps up, you realize “Haram” ain’t just an album—it’s a necessary trip through the comprehensive, intense universe of hip-hop. A testament to Alchemist’s talent to always keep it 100. Word!
16. This Thing Of Ours ( 2021 )
Alc’s knack for melding grimy, lo-fi beats with hair-raising soul samples has never been keener. The features are just as compelling. Earl Sweatshirt and Navy Blue hold court on “Nobles,” illustrating a captivating lyrical interplay. Boldy James and Sideshow put on for Detroit on “TV Dinners,” serving a dish of gritty realism over Alchemist’s smoky production. The album’s zenith comes with “Loose Change,” a mesmerizing solo cut by Earl Sweatshirt that proves Alc’s beats can stand alone. Indeed, “This Thing Of Ours” might be a short ride at just over 20 minutes, but it’s an immersive trip into The Alchemist’s sonic underworld. Here’s a project that underlines why the producer continues to be revered in hip-hop circles.
15. Bread ( 2018 )
Four brief yet potent tracks in a compact 11-minute package, Alchemist deftly conjured a distinctly grimy canvas, packed with fine-grain detail. The trap-laced “E. Coli” featuring the visionary Earl Sweatshirt, the swift-paced “Ray Mysterio” with Westside Gunn, Conway’s lyricism on “The Hopeless Romantic” and Roc Marciano’s silky flow on “Roman Candles” demonstrate Alchemist’s knack for tailoring beats to each artist’s unique rhythm. Released at the tail-end of 2018, Bread acts as both an appetizer and a dessert, leaving you hungry for more while satisfying your immediate craving for solid beats and gritty rhymes that stick to your ribs. The project showcases Alchemist’s dexterity behind the boards, proving that even after decades of production, he still has the Midas touch when it comes to crafting pieces of hip-hop art that are hard, raw and unpretentious.
14. Bo Jackson ( 2021 )
Released under the ALC Records, the project is a follow-up to their 2020’s “The Price of Tea in China,” further cementing their dynamic chemistry. Named after the legendary dual-sport athlete, Bo Jackson, the album metaphorically blends basketball and baseball, much like its namesake, interpreting the fusion as the tactical intellect of hustling. With features from heavyweights like Earl Sweatshirt, Freddie Gibbs, and Roc Marciano, the album conjures up an atmosphere that’s both chilling and spellbinding. Alchemist’s beats are back-alley raw, providing a perfect canvas for Boldy’s street poetry. While it might not be for casual listeners, “Bo Jackson” is a densely packed testament to Al’s beat-making prowess and Boldy’s lyrical depth.
13. Super Tecmo Bo ( 2021 )
Released on December 17, 2021, this project sees The Alchemist going toe-to-toe with some of the illest emcees in the game today, including lyrical assassins like Boldy James, Earl Sweatshirt, and Navy Blue. This ain’t no pop-rap, fam – this is that gritty, raw, boom-bap with a twist, courtesy of one of the most revered beatmakers in the game. The Alchemist shows his mastery over sample selection and loop creation, turning obscure snippets into full-blown soundscapes. The project, cutthroat and grimy in its lyrical content, mirrors its urban roots and realities, while the instrumentals maintain a rich, soul-infused undertone. Hassle-free in its production, it’s an unfiltered reflection of the raw, street demeanor of the game, encouragin’ listeners to lean back, soak in the wordplay, and nod their heads to the inexorable flow.
12. Continuance ( 2022 )
This 9-track instrumental masterpiece weaves a complex tapestry of lo-fi hip-hop, baring The Alchemist’s soulful ingenuity with every beat. It’s a meditative exploration of purely instrumental hip-hop, each track structurally unique yet fitting seamlessly into the album’s overall narrative arc. The Alchemist, with his signature style of sample-heavy production, paints a vivid soundscape that’s as eclectic as it is engaging. Standouts such as ‘Composite Reflector’ and ‘Mirror Ball’ showcase his seasoned command over the beat machine, with rhythmic strata and layered textures that transport listeners into a trance-like state. From start to finish, “Continuance” embodies the essence of The Alchemist’s craft – it’s a poetic expression of beat-making, a testament to his undeniable impact on the hip-hop landscape. Despite its brevity, it carries a resonance that echoes long after the last track fades away.
11. The Elephant Man’s Bones ( 2022 )
This timeless body of work cements Alchemist’s esteemed position as a hip-hop producer. Laying out a rich tapestry of beats, Alc deftly weaves together obscure samples and intricate loops, creating an atmospheric soundscape that echoes the grimy, urban realness of the golden age hip-hop. The Alchemist’s unerring ear for slapping drums and gritty basslines provides a gritty canvas for the featured artists to paint their tales of street life. The album’s title track, for instance, is underpinned by a phantasmagorical beat that’s part haunting and part enraptured. While The Elephant Man’s Bones may not have charted as highly as some of his earlier works, the album is a testament to Al’s continued prowess in the studio, reinforcing his relevance in an ever-evolving hip-hop landscape. A must-listen for any true head.
10. No Idols ( 2023 )
This album is an ambitious project that sees Alc pushing his limits while still staying true to the game. He slickly balances bangers and more contemplative tracks, showing off his adept handling of diverse sonic palettes. The album isn’t about commercial appeal—it’s a craftsman at work, honoring the artform and eschewing any form of idolatry for its own sake. The likes of Earl Sweatshirt and other underground torchbearers make appearances, all of them riding Alc’s beats with a commendable swagger and profundity. Thematically, “No Idols” calls out to the essence of hip-hop – authenticity, lyricism, and conviction – and is a clear signal that Alchemist isn’t slowing down anytime soon. This project is an almost sacred demonstration of Al’s understanding of the hip-hop’s essence, making it a mandatory spin for anyone claiming true hip-hop fandom.
9. Covert Coup ( 2011 )
This joint project with the lyrical maestro Curren$y was a masterclass in atmospheric production and sharp lyricism. Alchemist’s beats, steeped in jazz influences and sprinkled with layers of psychedelic sounds, provided the perfect canvas for Curren$y’s laid-back flow. As usual, Alc’s knack for creating a musical environment was unparalleled – no two beats sounded the same, yet they all belonged together. This was more than just an album; it was a world, a vibe, a mood. Tracks like “BBS” and “Scottie Pippen” were jewels that transcended the boundaries of traditional hip-hop. “Covert Coup” might not have been a commercial juggernaut, but it was a cult classic, resonating with the audience that appreciates the finer, meticulous, and almost poetic elements of hip-hop. This album is a testament to Alc’s undeniable skill of shaping sounds into vivid landscapes and unforgettable narratives. Respect to the game changer.
8. The Elephant Man’s Bones ( 2023 )
A momentous collaboration between American rappers and record producers Roc Marciano and The Alchemist. This full-length studio album, released through Pimpire/ALC Records, showcases The Alchemist’s complete production work. It features guest appearances from notable artists like Action Bronson, Boldy James, Ice-T, and Knowledge The Pirate, and was supported by the lead single “Deja Vu” along with a music video for “The Horns of Abraxas”.
The album received universal acclaim from music critics, earning an average score of 82 on Metacritic. Critics praised it for its undeniable chemistry and fresh sound. Anthony Malone of HipHopDX described it as a realization of an internet dream collaboration that surpasses fantasy. Grant Jones of RapReviews highlighted the album’s growing appeal with each listen, while Dylan Green of Pitchfork commended the long-awaited collaboration for being as satisfying as it is innovative. Paul Simpson from AllMusic noted the album’s balance of brutal lyrics with a sly sense of humor and innovative production, showcasing the depth and versatility of the collaboration.
7. Faith Is A Rock ( 2023 )
A collaborative album featuring MIKE, Wiki, and The Alchemist. This project stands out for its unique blend of styles and perspectives from the three artists. Described as a dream-like meditation, the album is tied together by The Alchemist’s murky jazz influences, with the verses of Wiki and MIKE cutting through like sunlight, creating a distinct and memorable musical experience.
The album is an exploration of introspective lyricism, innovative production, and captivating beats. It embodies a sense of creative synergy, showcasing the individual strengths of each artist while forming a cohesive and engaging listening experience. With “Faith Is A Rock,” listeners are invited to embark on a journey that not only highlights the talents of each artist but also offers a fresh and compelling perspective on contemporary hip-hop.
6. VOIR DIRE ( 2023 )
Earl Sweatshirt’s latest and produced by The Alchemist. The album signifies a significant moment in both artists’ careers, combining Earl Sweatshirt’s lyrical prowess with The Alchemist’s masterful production. This project was highly anticipated and its release was followed by a streaming edition on October 6, 2023.
It’s potentially a career high for both artists, with its accessible yet complex nature, with a clear natural chemistry between Earl and The Alchemist. Their styles blend seamlessly to create a record that feels like a fulfillment of a musical prophecy.
5. The Great Escape ( 2023 )
The album showcases The Alchemist’s complete production with Beat Butcha contributing as an additional producer on one track. It features an impressive array of guest appearances from artists like Action Bronson, Big Sean, Boldy James, Curren$y, Evidence, Jay Worthy, Joey Bada$$, Slum Village, Ty Dolla $ign, and Wiz Khalifa. The album achieved notable chart success, peaking at number 32 on the Billboard 200 and achieving high positions on various other charts.
4. Flying High ( 2023 )
This EP, coming through ALC Records, features an impressive roster of guest artists including Earl Sweatshirt, Billy Woods, Boldy James, T.F., Mike, Sideshow, Larry June, and Jay Worthy. Following a prolific year in 2022, where The Alchemist produced four studio projects including his own “The Alchemist Sandwich,” this release was eagerly anticipated and announced on social media, with Earl Sweatshirt highlighting his significant contribution.
Critical reception of “Flying High” has been positive, with Clash’s Robin Murray describing it as a “stunning four-track feast,” praising its creativity despite its brevity. Pitchfork’s Dylan Green called the EP “breezy,” noting its ability to provide a space for rappers in The Alchemist’s circle to showcase their skills in a relaxed, enjoyable manner. Exclaim!’s Wesley McLean likened it to a “delicious hors d’oeuvre,” suggesting that it serves as a prelude to more substantial work to come from The Alchemist. The EP has been praised for not only showcasing The Alchemist’s production prowess but also for highlighting the talents of the featured artists, cementing his status as a central figure in contemporary hip-hop.
3. The Alchemist Sandwich ( 2022 )
Crafted with meticulous sample chops and an ear for sonic detail, each track on “Sandwich” is a masterclass in boom-bap refinement. This ain’t no simple album – it’s like a Rubik’s Cube of mind-bending beats and dizzying lyricism. The themes – urban decay, struggle, and redemption – are reflected in the raw, stripped-down production that mirrors the grit and grind of city life. With “Sandwich,” The Alchemist adds another dimension to his ever-evolving sonic blueprint, aligning his craft to the street-savvy narratives of his lyrical collaborators. It’s another testament to Al’s enduring relevance in the industry, solidifying his role as a driving force in the preservation and evolution of the authentic hip-hop sound.
2. 1st Infantry ( 2004 )
It was his debut studio joint and trust, the New York underground was never the same. This magnum opus housed everything from soulful street-level narratives to multilayered bangers. It was like the illest hip-hop buffet – a bit of Mobb Deep here, a sprinkle of Nas there, and don’t forget a generous helping of Game. Alchemist stepped out from behind the boards to flex his mic skills, not to overshadow his beats, but to blend homogeneously. The cohesion was unreal. We saw him interweave the golden era’s boom-bap essence with the grimy aesthetic of the new-school; a true hip-hop chameleon. If metrics are your thing, then it peaking at #101 on the Billboard 200 just adds to its cult classic status. Yet, “1st Infantry” is more than just numbers, it’s a testament to Alc’s innovation and creativity, proving he’s got the Midas touch when it comes to the science of sound.
1. Rapper’s Best Friend ( 2007 )
This joint isn’t just a collection of beats but an auditory journey where each track is a destination filled with intricate loops, cut-throat beats, and snazzy samples. In hip-hop, the focus tends to lean towards the emcee, but here, the spotlight shines on the man behind the beats. It’s like peeking behind the curtain and seeing the wizard at work, witnessing the instrumental canvas upon which history’s finest lyricists like Prodigy, Ghostface Killah, and Nas, have painted their lyrical masterpieces. This album might not have soared in the commercial radar, but its influence in the sonic sphere is uncontested. It’s for the heads who know that hip-hop is just as much about the beat as it is about the rhyme. It’s not just a rapper’s best friend, it’s a hip-hop connoisseur’s treasured companion.