Showing posts with label the alchemist. Show all posts
Showing posts with label the alchemist. Show all posts

Saturday, May 31, 2014

video review: 'good to be home' by blu

Man, it took entirely too long to get this video out, but between social schedule, moving plans, and the Roots discography I'm powering through (plus, you know, a full-time job and shit), it's to be expected.

Next up will be whatever I can get to next before June kicks into gear. Stay tuned!

album review: 'good to be home' by blu

The more I think about it, the more grateful I am that The Alchemist and Evidence dropped the excellent album Lord Steppington very early in the year. See, I'll admit that it's been a learning process for me to discover more acts in the hip-hop underground, and considering they brought on so many names onto that record to collaborate, I got a sampler of a whole selection of artists I might not have heard before. And considering most of them delivered solid lyrics, it definitely got me interested in future projects.

The first one that jumped out at me was Styles P's last album, which was pretty solid, but he was coming from gangsta rap of which I was at least somewhat familiar. But Blu was a different act entirely - originally debuting the mid-2000s with the extremely solid Below The Heavens and inspired by both gangsta and conscious rap with a hint of a Christian angle, Blu's jagged career trajectory has been interesting, if a little concerning for his fanbase. Between the No!York release which came just after his very brief tenure with Warner Records and a selection of EPs and projects that really were a mixed bag, I wasn't sure what I was going to be getting with his newest album, especially because I didn't really like his verse on his track on Lord Steppington, 'Tomorrow'. Admittedly, part of the problem was the beat on that track, but Blu's verse wasn't all that stellar and I wasn't impressed with his flow.

That said, I wasn't about to ignore his new album Good To Be Home, half because the collaboration list looked pretty impressive. Not only was a double disk with collaborations with The Alchemist and Evidence and Fashawn, but LMNO was also reportedly on the album as well, whose album After The Fact was one of my favourite hip-hop releases of last year. And I figured, hey, with such a rich list of collaborators, it'd probably be pretty interesting, right?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

video review: 'lord steppington' by step brothers (the alchemist & evidence)

Glad to finally have a great album released this year - about time.

Next will be Doug Paisley, as I still need time to get through Jason Eady's and Against Me!'s releases. Stay tuned!

album review: 'lord steppington' by step brothers (the alchemist & evidence)

You know you've become a music nerd when you start following other people besides the actual artist when it comes to albums. Sure, the artist often has his or her own unique presence and style and you get some artists who will handle every element of their music - writing, music, production, everything - but not all of them do. And thus, there are other talents behind the scenes that deserve attention. In country music, for instance, since most modern country acts don't write all of their own music, it's a good idea to keep an eye out for certain songwriters. And in hip-hop, you want to keep your eye on certain producers, the people who have a reputation for creating beats and mixes for acts to rap or sing over.

Which takes us to the group we'll be talking about today. If you're familiar with underground hip-hop, you should be familiar with both of these men, both hip-hop producers and rappers in their own right. The first is The Alchemist, known mostly for being the DJ who works with Shady Records and Eminem, but he also has a selection of very well-received albums under his belt. The second man is Evidence, who I last talked about on his collaboration with LMNO on the team-up album After The Fact, which ended up making my list of the best albums of 2013. Now The Alchemist and Evidence have worked together plenty of times before, and they didn't really intend on doing a straight team up until they realized by happenstance that they had enough tracks for a full-length collaboration. So they called their new duo Step Brothers, brought together a group of underground rappers with whom they've collaborated over the past decade (which include Oh No, Action Bronson, Rakaa, Fashawn, and Roc Marciano) for verses, and they've now dropped a new album titled Lord Steppington. Now let me stress this: I've been psyched for this album since I heard about it months ago, as it reminded me a lot of the last underground hip-hop collaboration I covered, which was Run The Jewels by Killer Mike and El-P and was one of the best albums of the year. So how did this collaboration turn out?