Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Alchemist "The Alchemist's Cookbook" EP

Serving as a precursor to his Chemical Warfare full length due in February, The Alchemist dropped his Cookbook EP with six tracks to hold us over until then.

In typical Alc fashion we are treated to some of his classic QB griminess opening the disc with the Nina Sky assisted “Keys to the City.” Over some slow thumping drums a subtle repeating key loop in the background and quite vocal sample Al and P lay it down for their town.

Snoop comes through on the hook for the lead single here, “Lose Your Life.” While Alchemist is know for his work with some of the hardest crews in Hip Hop, this is certified hood shit if I’ve ever heard it. Jadakiss does what he always does flowing in his usual smooth demeanor delivering his brand of street tale. In a rare separation from his partner, Pusha T slides in sounding just as at home over this banger as he does over anything cooked up by P and Chad.

I can’t help but chuckle at the thought of CNN still trying to make it, but they make an appearance here over probably the weakest beat – making “Follow the Dollar” the weak link on this short excursion.

Evidence, Blu & Kid Cudi “Therapy” (Prod. By The Alchemist)

Luckily it finishes off strong with a great pair of stress relieving tracks. “Calmly Smoke” finds The Alchemist joined by his boy Evidence and Styles P as the three certified stoners let it be known how they get down with the trees. If that’s not your type of stress relief how about some great music? “Therapy” sees Blu getting in with Evidence about the joys of making music and it’s therapeutic profits – both mental and physical.

Aside from being some of the best displays of wordplay, these two tracks also tie for the best beats here. “Therapy” takes it when it opens with triumphant horns before fading into a minimalist guitar driven track and props have to be given to Al for his decision to play the drums quieter in the mix, they are present but don’t take away from the rest. The synths that drive “Calmly Smoke” are not to be taken for granted however as I’m guessing he dug deep for those sounds. As always the chemistry man is never one to disappoint.

Keak Da Sneak & Prodigy “Al Capone Zone” (Prod. By The Alchemist)

If this weren’t enough he gives us one more Prodigy assisted joint, but keeps the west connection alive moving north up the Cali coast to the Bay putting Keak da Sneak with the Mobb frontman. “Al Capone Zone” works out surprisingly well with Keak sounding almost good when I usually can’t stand anything he puts his voice to. Another great beat with a bit more funky feel than we see from the Alchemist, shows he is pushing his “sound” to new areas and this track leaves no reason to complain.

If you have enjoyed the Alchemist’s work for the last decade plus you have no reason to not enjoy this quick sampler of what’s to come. He displays the facets of his style and the depth to which his crew runs connecting with his homies from both coasts. Jump out to the iTunes store and grab a track or two (I’m sure you can find the rest), and watch out for that Chemical Warfare!

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