The Alchemist: Chemical Warfare (Review)
Its been five years since his last solo effort, 1st Infantry, but on Chemical Warfare, Alchemist---Eminems tour DJ and Prodigys go-to-beatsmith---doesnt disappoint his eager fans. As always, Al flips both exotic and noteworthy samples to accompany his signature sound---sinister melodies over thumping drums. A good selection of artists from Memphis to Brooklyn laces the album with grit. Jadakiss and Pusha T spit life-threatening bars on Lose Your Life over a bouncy piano-loop perfectly matching Snoop Doggs menacing hook.
The haunting sound continues On Sight featuring Tha Dogg Pound and Lady of Rage, a song that could be a theme for a drive-by. The vibe picks up as Three Six Mafia and Juvenile excel on the fast paced Thatll Work, while KRS-One yet again preaches and teaches on string-laced Grand Concourse Benches. Lest one think Als sound is too niche, he balances things out with guitar-riff-heavy Therapy and the albums most radio-friendly track, Smile on which a self-assured Alchemist spits alongside Twista. Although Chicagos tongue twister surely steals the show, the former member of the Whooliganz holds his own on many other tracks throughout the LP. On Kool G. Rap assisted ALC Theme, Al claims, I aint a P-unk/I was raised off P-Funk, getting blazed til d-runk, showcasing his witty wordplay. Chemical Warfare is by no means perfect---Eminems appearance on the title track is impressive, but its short length only comes off like a snippet. And while entertaining, the sexually explicit and synthesizer-driven Keep The Heels On by Prodigy gets disturbing after several listens. Nonetheless, Alchemists second solo effort---with chopped samples and a relentless drum machine---yet again reveals him as one of the best producer/rapper in the game.