Son Raw‘s hair was blowing in the wind like Fabio’s.
Alchemist is a national treasure. His first (official) production credit dates back to 1997, but somehow, he’s never stopped exploring new avenues in dirty, dusty, sample-based rap beats. That’s a shockingly long and distinguished career, considering just how many of his peers fell off or straight up quit over the past 20 years. I attribute this success to a strict weed regimen.
Better yet, Alc’s not just been pumping out beats, he’s managed to produce entire albums in the era of 1-shot e-mailed beats. Sometimes, these collaborations are positively inspired: to be certain, Spitta and Gibbs’ Fetti will be somewhere in our year-end list. Other times, they’re a bit confounding – I’m not sure anyone asked for a Durag Dynasty LP, even if no one was mad at it either. With this in mind, to celebrate both Alc and the Festival of Lights, here are 8 artists we think he’d deliver his best work with, and whose collab albums we’d definitely commission if late stage capitalism hadn’t left us destitute and scrambling for change behind the couch cushions.
Westside Gunn & Conway
This one was actually supposed to happen, and given the Griselda duo’s appearances all over Alc’s EPs and singles, we’re pretty sure the release just got chopped up into loosies. That’s cool, but I have a hunch that if you got these three in the same room to record a proper project, the results would be way more than the sum of their parts, particularly if Alc leaned on his soul and gospel samples instead of the grim-dark vibe that defines most Griselda releases.
Another regular Alchemist collaborator, Earl Sweatshirt releases music on a … shall we say relaxed schedule, so the best we can probably hope for here is an EP. He’s also tended towards heavy introspection since shaking off any residual Odd Future related juvenilia, so teaming up with Uncle Al for down and dirty rap record full of weeded bars might offer some stress release. Not every album needs to be soul crushingly heavy, Earl.
So this one might not actually turn out any good – even Alchemist might not be able to save the lyrical spiritual miracle from his stilted cadences, clickbait punchlines and abrasive late career vocal tone, but they share management, have toured together and yet somehow haven’t ever linked up for a substantial project. It’s worth a shot.
For a brief moment, all was right in the universe when Danny Brown announced Alchemist was producing the entirety of his next album. Then he quickly backtracked and said he just wanted to work with Al on the project. Guys, don’t let dreams be dreams. Specifically, my dreams since I can’t imagine a stronger emcee/producer combination in 2019.
Alchemist’s longstanding Cali underground roots have seen him work with everyone from Evidence to Planet Asia, and Blu’s due for a revival considering how his zonked out abstraction sounds less like insanity and more like a genuine precursor to NY’s current underground abstractions – it just makes sense.
#Whooliganz2019. Nuff said.
I have no real basis to ask for this. As far as I can tell, these two worked on exactly one song together, a guest spot for Havoc last year. They probably barely know each other. But now that I’ve sparked the idea, don’t you desperately want this to happen?
Ok, so this last one is cheating: Alc and Bronson dropped Rare Chandeliers in 2012, but we want a sequel. Specifically, with Bronson pushing his over the top punchlines to their limits recently, hearing these two team up on a dirtier, NY-centric tip might be just the ticket to bring out the old Bam Bam. Bring in Cormega, CNN, Havoc, Kool G Rap, and let’s take it to the Bridge.