October 25, 2021

Happy Born Day, Alchemist! (Playlist)

One of the most revered and prolific rap producers of his generation, the Alchemist crafts sample-heavy, tough, yet detailed beats suffused with soul. His extensive discography, dating back to the early 1990s, includes tracks by the likes of Dilated Peoples, Mobb Deep, Nas, Ghostface Killah, Lil Wayne, and Kendrick Lamar, and he's so valued as a collaborator that he has been behind joint albums co-billed with the likes of Prodigy, Oh No, Curren$y and Freddie Gibbs, among others. In addition to his supporting work as a beatmaker, he has delivered numerous concurrent projects as a headliner and occasional rapper, such as the albums 1st Infantry, Chemical Warfare, and Russian Roulette, and a ceiling-scraping stack of EPs, mixtapes, and instrumental sets. As a teenager, when he was known as Mudfoot, he was part of the Whooliganz (with Scott Caan, son of James) and DJ Muggs' Soul Assassins collective. The Whooliganz released the single "Put Your Handz Up" on Tommy Boy in 1993, but their debut full-length, Make Way for the W, was shelved. Alchemist continued making beats, however, working with and learning from Muggs on 1995's Cypress Hill III: Temples of Boom as well as with childhood friend Evidence of Dilated Peoples. These connections led to a prolific career. In recent years, the Alchemist is behind collaborative projects with the likes of Curren$y, Havoc, and Jay Worthy. He issued a fourth volume of Rapper's Best Friend and continued to produce for a select group of artists, most prominently Kendrick Lamar (namely "FEAR."), Westside Gunn, and Anderson .Paak. He also continued his joint work, joining Freddie Gibbs and Curren$y on 2018's Fetti and the Cool Kids on 2019's Layups. In 2020 alone, he paired with Boldy James (The Price of Tea in China), Conway the Machine (LULU), and Gibbs (Alfredo). Another highly collaborative EP, This Thing of Ours (1 and 2), followed in 2021 featured guests like Earl Sweatshirt and Navy Blue. Below is just a sample from his prolific catalog in playlist form... Happy Born Day, ALC!