In many ways, I feel like in making this documentary, The Alchemist has been leading me on a long journey with no real ending. Not only is his solo catalog vast, with the Yacht Rock projects, Russian Roulette, and Step Brothers album still to discuss, but he has continued to release full-length album collaborations with Boldy James, Freddie Gibbs, Curren$y, Havoc, Action Bronson, and Conway the Machine. Oh, and did I mention the songs he’s produced for ScHoolboy Q, Mac Miller, Earl Sweatshirt, Joey Bada$$, Danny Brown, Westside Gunn, Benny the Butcher, Your Old Droog, Quelle Chris, am I forgetting anyone? Oh, yeah, Kendrick Lamar? This is a documentary to go through his entire history
As of writing, the most recent releases in Al’s catalog are two solo albums that dropped in October 2020. First was A Doctor, Painter & An Alchemist Walk Into a Bar, an experimental record that is mostly instrumental, apart from a renegade verse from Westside Gunn on “Stained Glass.” Overall, it’s fine.2020 saw the masterful trifecta of The Price of Tea in China, Lulu, and Alfredo all saw release. In 2020 alone, Al has proven himself to be one of hip-hop’s most in-demand, prolific, and consistent masters of the art of the beat. His cool demeanor, stoner-god energy, and long-lasting goodwill with all of your favorite rappers has partly contributed to his current status as legend. Just don’t try to binge his entire discography in a week’s span, as it will just end up driving you completely mad. Take it from me, what awaits you on that Mountain is not worth the trouble.
On November 24, 2020. On that date, it was announced that Freddie Gibbs and The Alchemist’s incredible Alfredo has been nominated for Best Rap Album for the 2021 Grammy Awards. It’s not an outlier, either, with the rest of the field being occupied by lyrically adept, so-called conscious rappers such as D Smoke, Jay Electronica, Royce, and Nas.
But, how did we get here? Not in regards to the Recording Academy retooling itself based on its annual controversies, but in regards to The Alchemist rising to where he is now. It might be hard to believe, but he really has been making hip-hop music professionally for almost 30 years.
Read more by the brilliant Jakob Ross at: https://jakobsalbumreviews.wordpress.com/
00:00 Episode 80
02:50 The 1990’s
06:35 The 2000’s
13:30 The 2010’s
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