has been crafting recipes for his first cookbook since his debut, 1st Infantry, was released in 2004. A
producer known for his cinematic, yet rugged production style that is
California bred but embedded with East Coast DNA, The AlchemistsCookbook EP, just
released on iTunes, is the crème de la crème of Als forthcoming album.
like chopping the best pieces off the Chemical
Warfare album, the chemical spillover of my next project, speaks Alchemist
on his latest EP release. With clout that boasts production credits on
certified Hip-Hop classics by the likes of Mobb Deep,
Royce Da 59, and Dilated Peoples, the low-key
producer has been in the lab experimenting with these newly formed weapons of
hard to hold on to these records, I got a Three 6 Mafia and Juvenile record
that is absolutely crazy. I cant even sit on it anymore,
its burning holes in my pocket. Thats what happened with the Jada (From Now to Then) record, I had it for so long,
that it had to come out, reveals the Beverly Hills native. Recently coming off the Still High
tour with Method Man and Redman and Step Brother Evidence, his main priority
has been creating awareness for the album. Alchemists exuberance toward his
new project and current label are like the pillars that manifest his importance
in keeping whats left of Hip-Hop musics integrity.
label like Koch has had much success but they do things in typical fashion. I
like to think outside of the box and I feel like Im one of the few artists on
Koch whos going to bring something you wouldnt expect from them. Not to
disrespect Koch or anybody; they give me my full
creative space, says Alchemist.
drop in the first quarter of 09, Als Chemical
Warfare, is stocked with material worthy of merit, consisting of
collaborations Hip-Hop heads only dream about. With more hits under his belt than Sammy The Bull Gravano,
Alchemist breaks down the science behind some of his most ingenious records.
Before we get into the classics, you assembled Evidence, Blu,
and Kid Cudi on Therapy off TheCookbook , three artists with
contrasting styles and unique sounds, What inspired you to put these guys
Kweli was also on the record, but there was some problems at the last minute. It was one of those
late nights in the studio. Ev
was passed out on the couch and I just stumbled on to this sample and started
chopping it, adding s**t to it, really just bugging out. I turned the lights
real low in the studio and just went into another f**king zone with the beat.
up later and just started writing to it. He came with the idea of therapy
because we kind of like therapists with this music. And he was the one who put
me on to Blu, who weve been working with
lately. I just knew he would sound
perfect on the beat. Also Kid Cudi came to my studio
and just laid a couple hooks for me, and I never seen anybody record their
hooks so perfectly and his doubles, techniques were blowing me away. Hes on
his way to becoming the next Akon, Nate Dogg, etc. He did a hook on my album and I think Fabolous is going to rock on it.
59s Im Da King
AllHipHop.com: Im Da King has been
hailed as one Royces greatest songs of all time. What was your inspiration
behind this beat?
Alchemist: I just
stole the beat from RA The Rugged Man, [laughs] RA put out a record a few years
ago saying that
I stole the Im Da King beat from him, but I dont know man, RA sniffs a
lot of glue, so pardon him for the
Elmers mishaps.[laughs] Nah, there was a beat that he
had that sounded similar , so he thought I bit it from him. But I was on the
keyboards for that track so theres no way I could have bit it.
remember that day I was at D&D Studios and Royce was in town, and I had a
bunch of new beats on deck. Royce just came through to the studio, hes always
real confident in the lab. I mean he falls off the tree of Slim Shady. So when
hes in the booth, he knows what he wants to do right away. As far as the
concept of the song, there isnt a lot of interaction and throwing ideas back
and forth. He came with the hook, and hes one of the few lyricists that Im
glad to say that I was able to be part of their careers in the early
with Saigon, I was one of the first people to lace him with a beat when he came
out of jail, so I took it a little personal when I didnt get to lay any beats
for his album when he got with Just Blaze. Its all good though but at the same time, I took a mental
AllHipHop.com: You worked early on Pharoahe
Monchs solo career on his debut, Internal Affairs, you
produced the track No Mercy that also features MOP. Were you all in the
studio for this one?
straight rallied with Pharoahe. Really I was on his
back about making this album. Growing up, Pharoahe
was definitely one of my top three favorite MCs. So at the time he was down
with Rawkus, and I was still coming up. I just
remember him coming to my crib, and I was just playing all these beats and he
liked this one in particular. But I told him Prodigy was already writing to it
for his HNIC album,
and he said, I dont wanna hear anymore beats,
thats the only one I want. So I called P, and told him Pharoahe
really wanted it and he was just like, Aight, do
your thing. I mean, he didnt really care about it like I did. It's a weird ass sample that I just found
off some soundtrack and it was one of the last songs he did for the album. Also, it was my first time working with
MOP and, Lil Fame is also one my favorite MCs.
Prodigy Keep It Thoro
AllHipHop.com: How did you capture the grittiness of Queensbridge so perfectly on Keep It Thoro
by your boy Prodigy?
Alchemist: I was
actually in LA on vacation, staying at my mom and dads crib and I brought my
ASR with me. It was like carrying a f**kin body with
you, I think Im still lop-sided from carrying the ASR around. I just set up
shop in some small ass room in their crib, and there was a bunch of left over
records sitting in the garage from when I used to live there. I just set up a
makeshift turntable setup with an old boom box that was there. That sample just
happened to be one of the few records left over, and the drums are from an old
school Hip-Hop classic that I dont want to blow up. [laughs]
But it was the only drums that I had, I didnt even
have my drum samples with me.
went back to New York, I played it for Prodigy and he wanted to use it right
away, actually I think I played it for MOP too, but Fame might tell you better.
Then we actually went back to LA for an award show or something, and P felt
like he couldnt wait and booked some studio time. P had a cold that day too,
thats why he sounds so nasal, but it just sounded so dope. Its all about imagination, you close your eyes, and just think you can go
[wherever] you want in the world. If you're inspired enough you can take
something back from that world. In my mind I can go anywhere, its like my
Dilated Peoples Worst
Comes to Worst
AllHipHop.com: You also contributed your production skills to one of
Dilated Peoples biggest hits Worst Comes to Worst,
where did this beat originate from?
Alchemist: When I
found the loop, it had actually been used by a Wu-Tang
Affiliate, Killarmy or somebody, dont quote
me on it though. It wasnt even a
serious effort, just some chops that I put on a tape with two other beats.
Dilated was in New York working on their album, and it was like the 15th
or 16th beat on the tape, it only had one sequence at the time. They loved it though, took it to their
hotel that night and wrote to it. They even came came
up with the Worst Comes to Worst.
We actually recorded it at D&D also.
no idea it was going to take off the way it did, but Capitol was behind the
record 100%. I think it was really the fans that took the record to the next level.
It was just the perfect timing. I
never over think any concept, I feel like people will always recognize music
Capone N Noreaga f/ Foxy Brown Bang Bang
AllHipHop.com: Though youve avoided getting involved in many of the so-called
beefs that many rappers succumb to, you produced Bang Bang by CNN and Foxy Brown which set off a long
lasting battle between the two female emcees. Did you know that this song would
stir so much bad blood?
remember Jonathan Lighty picked me up, and we were on
our way to a Mobb Deep session. But he got a call
from NORE to stop by his session. NORE is one of my favorite people to work
with when it comes to picking beats. If you go into the studio with him and a
DAT full of beats, youre going to record a song no matter what. I cant
remember a time where I went into the studio with NORE, and after the 2nd
or 3rd beat he wasnt like, Thats it, put that up - I want that
in New York, and like twenty-minutes into writing after I cued up the beat,
NORE was like, Yo Im a get my little sister on
this. And he jumps on the cell - telling some girl to come down to studio
right now, and all this. Foxy must have been thirsty to get on a hardcore
record or just happen to be in the neighborhood because within 10 minutes she
walks through the door with her little crew of girls from Brooklyn, and they
were hood. I never really kicked it
with Foxy, but she really is a thorough girl straight from Brooklyn. She came in and started writing
immediately, didnt take two seconds. She wrote three rhymes, and after she
went into the booth we stood there by the door thinking like, Ok lets see
what happens. And she spit one, and then immediately spit another one and we
all started going crazy. The whole
studio bugged out and NORE loved it. I knew she was going in, but I didnt think
it was really going to be start some beef with Lil Kim at the time.
Alchemist f/ Prodigy, Illa Gee & Nina Sky Hold You
AllHipHop.com: One last record that is a now classic off your 1st infantry album, Hold You Down
featuring Prodigy, Illa Gee, and Nina Sky. The sample wasnt unheard of, but you freaked it your
Alchemist: I had
the song basically done without the hook, and I was loving
it. But I reached out to Cipha Sounds and at the time
he had this new girl group, Nina Sky, but they only had like one
record out at the time, so I wasnt sure if theyre capable artists. Ciph though was just like, Throw me a record and Ill
show how dope they really are.
enough, he sent it back and the hook was already done, and I loved the record
even more. Nina Sky are super talented girls. Also at
the time Prodigy was going at it with Jay, and he used the sample already, but
it was Soon Youll Understand. So we took it and did our version or whatever
because P wanted to flip it, but I was still a fan of Jays. I even saw Jay
after the record blew up at Nobu, and I approached
him actually kind of apologetic at first, like My bad about the record, but
Jay was like, Nah nah, I actually like that record. That really blew me away,
and to this day Jay is one of the few artists that I really want to work with,
so Jay what up?!!! [laughs]