Regardless of how much someone loves Hip-Hop, ultimately it’s the beat that’s really going to get your blood rushing.
Combined with the right lyricist, the perfect beat will turn any Hip-Hop song into a symphony orchestra.
But the main question is: Where would a person go to find the “perfect beat”? There are a couple of answers to that inquiry, and The Alchemist [Click for Alchemist interview] holds a ton of them.
Taking a break from landing huge placements on projects such as Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter III and Jadakiss’ [Click for Jadakiss interview] The Last Kiss, The Alchemist finally returns with the follow up to 1st Infantry in Chemical Warfare.
Only inviting the crème da la crème of the Hip-Hop world, Chemical Warfare boasts a line up of artists like Jadakiss, Eminem [Click for Relapse review], Snoop Dogg, Twista, KRS-One, Pusha T, Fabolous, Talib Kweli, and Kool G. Rap amongst others.
After the piano introduction subsides, where people share their thoughts on chemical warfare, ‘ALC Theme’ (feat. Kool G. Rap) blasts off. Taking a page from classic songs like ‘Letterman’ and ‘Spellbound’ by K-Solo, both MC’s put a new twist on spelling out their lyrics.
Eminem comes in on the title track, ‘Chemical Warfare,’ but with Relapse still making the rounds, Slim Shady doesn’t overexert himself, and only drops a brief verse, making references to Octomom, Governor Palin, the Jonas Brothers, and other people in the public eye.
The guitar-driven ‘Therapy’ features MC’s from multiple regions, as Talib Kweli, Blu, Kid Cudi, and Evidence [Click for Evidence interview] all come together in perfect harmony, with Kid Cudi manning the hook. The Alchemist then takes a trip down South with ‘That’ll Work’ (feat. Three 6 Mafia [Click for Juicy J interview] and Juvenile), showing that he’s able to fully run the gauntlet, and work with practically any artist(s) on the planet.
Fabolous also drops a single verse with his contribution on ‘Gangster Sh*t.’ In typical “Loso” fashion, the Brooklynite uses lyricism and punch lines to get his point across over the slow and drawn out production:
“Looks like your memory needs refreshin’/you couldn’t do me, if you were doin’ an impression/maybe I should just press charges for swagger theft/you f*ggots deaf/if you can’t hear I’m hot as dragon’s breath/nah, I’m passed hot/the sun’s mascot/when stacks on deck/I’m at yo neck like an ascot/I say what’s up son/you what’s up son/they say yo swagger’s on Viagra/keep it up son.”
It wouldn’t be an Alchemist project without Prodigy, and the Mobb Deep member makes his entrance on the sex-themed ‘Keep The Heels On.’ From there, The Alchemist rages more war with weapons like ‘Grand Concourse Benches’ (feat. KRS-One), ‘Acts Of Violence’ (feat. Alchemist and OHNO as Gangrene), ‘Under Siege’ (aslo featuring Gangrene), ‘Smile’ (feat. Maxwell [Click for album review] and Twista), and ‘On Sight’ (feat. Dogg Pound and Lady Of Rage).
The true mark of an artist is when he or she shows growth, and it’s recognizable in their body of work. Trying to top your first album isn’t always an easy task, especially when the album was 1st Infantry.
But The Alchemist does that effortlessly with Chemical Warfare, while proving that the “beat” will indeed go on…