View Full Version : NEW Alchemist Interview [HipHopgame.com]

food for thought
02-16-2009, 12:37 PM

What does the title of your new EP The Cookbook mean to you?

You could say that the album is the full cookbook. This is like the highlights. Itís like the chemical overflow, the spillage, of Chemical Warfare. These are the records that seeped out for one reason or another. It was really cutting the fat off the steak and giving you the best portion of something. To be honest some of the records I saved are better. Itís always easier to put six songs together than 12 or 13. I guess thatís why. It was definitely something that was bulletproof as a product in my opinion.

Why do an EP instead of an album?

The album is still Chemical Warfare. This is really, like, a big promotional divide for Chemical Warfare. Iím just putting out candy-coated breadcrumbs to lead them to the main course, which is Chemical Warfare. It was more or less me wanting to make my album an event instead of throwing it out in the fourth quarter. I felt like I would be more of an opening act than the main event so letís rally together all of these records that Iíve been sprinkling over the last few months.

Nobody even knew I did the CNN record or it was really not kind of connected to me. I love that joint. I wanted to round all of them up together and thatís when the idea came to do it digital-only. Letís not overdo it on this EP. Letís just make this something that is strictly digital. Itís not even something thatís inconceivable to think that 10 years from now, down the line, this might be the only way weíre getting our albums. CDs might not be around. I thought it was cool that we were only releasing it on iTunes. That was our motivation for doing an EP Ė to drag them towards the LP. And a lot of these joints are going to be on the LP. What we did is a ďComplete My AlbumĒ deal with iTunes where if you got these joints already, you donít have to pay for them again. Itís something where they prorate the album. This is just the pre-course for the Chemical Warfare LP.

If you donít have your Alchemist drop on your tracks, sometimes itís hard to tell that you did the beat because you donít have one set style, where itís a lot easier to identify beats from other producers like DJ Premier or Just Blaze. Is that how you stay relevant in the game?

I think every producer that ends up being relevant has some way, if they last long enough, to not be completely a chameleon. Itís something that you can usually attach to the beat. Even with me, it may not be as exact where you can tell a signature and writing style so clearly, I think thatís the shit. I built my career off of somebody like Premier and what he did and his reputation and his respect level. At the same time I didnít want to be stuck in a box. I didnít want to have to worry about if I should use this clap or mess with this keyboard because itís not what the people expect from Alchemist.

I always feel like I donít want to be stuck in one sound. Itís more the quality and the way that itís hooked up and the emotion that you feel. Thereís a lot of different emotions but the level and quality of it is more of a way to signify what I do. Instead of trying to find a whole bunch of funky fresh colorful adjectives to describe the sound like ďsinisterĒ and ďvaliantĒ and ďfiendish,Ē thatís just shit Iím coming up with to describe a sound. (laughs) I sample. I dig from a lot of different realms and itís hard to have a sound that sounds the same.

But I know what you mean about Primo. Heís a master but at the same time I felt like I could never be Premier so I definitely try to throw curveballs every now and then and as long as it skips past my radar, itís okay. Iíll fuck with this and I donít mind putting my name on this even if itís different. I just did a project with Oh No. We just collaborated on a whole album together. The group is called Gang Green. Itís a collaborative album of rhyming and beats. We just went in and did some shit. You canít really tell who did the beat because we just met somewhere in the middle. You canít tell if Alchemist did the beat and thatís dope. We just created different sounds and thatís what itís about.

What was it like working with Oh No?

Heís sick with it. Me growing up out here, thereís so much talent out here. Thereís Blu and Fashawn and Evidence and Muggs and Planet AsiaÖI could just go on and on. The West Coast has so much creativity these days and so much motherfuckers that are doing that shit. I always knew Madlib and I met Oh No. We were playing some beats and the shit was dope. We both smoke too much. (laughs) Itís like, ĎOh, you smoke too much like me. Great!í We started exchanging darts through the Ďnet. I was in New York and he was in L.A. Oh No would lay a verse and then I would lay a verse. If something was dope it made me want to do a beat so I would do it and send it over and then he would send it back with a verse 20 minutes later.

Me and Evidence were supposed to do an album called Step Brothers. Weíre working on it. In the course of making Chemical Warfare, we made a whole album. Me and Ev go way back so he can go through my beats like no one else can. Oh No didnít know me that well. You know what I mean? Everything I sent Oh No, he was just hitting it and it was the same thing with me. There was nothing he sent me that I was questioning because it was all dope and it was all right. The Gang Green project is dope. Itís going to come out in January so be on the lookout for that too.

While there are a lot of quality artists out West, the excitement doesnít seem to be there. Why do you think that is?

It takes time to build that up and the rap game is evolving. Thereís always times when the scope is on a different area. Itís like making a hit. If you go in the lab and say that youíre going to make a hit, youíre probably not going to do that. Youíre trying to psyche yourself out.

Itís the same thing with a movement. Movements happen naturally. A bunch of people not collectively making music together but respecting each other is how a movement is made. Itís not premeditated. I think itís happening already. Thereís all the product weíre putting out and itís just a matter of time before the industry decides to put their scope back on the West. They always move around.

After Beanie Sigel came out it was sign everybody from Philly. Then Slim Thug came out and Paul Wall was heavy and the scope turned to Texas and then it turned to Miami. It turns. I think there will be a time when it comes back. I donít know whoís going to be the one. Nipsey Hussle is nice. Fashawn is nice. Thereís rappers with all different styles on the West. Evidence has the capability to put the West in a good position. We all do. It all happens naturally.

Who do you think is the frontrunner of the West right now?

This new dude is crazy. I donít know if people know about him. I donít know if people know who he is. His name is Alchemist! (laughs) I canít put my money on anybody. I think itís everybody collectively. I couldnít even say thereís one dude whoís going to put L.A. on his back and just step out there. Weíre all going to do it. Itís a joint effort.

You talked about rhyming with Oh No a lot but the last few years, especially on the Cookbook, you havenít been rapping a lot. Why has your rapping been so sporadic lately?

I do rap because I love to do it. I donít really do it to make my cake. I never wanted to be the type of producer where I had to get a 16 on something. Itís more of a personal thing. On me and Oh Noís project I rap on every record. We rapped 50/50 on that. If you like Alchemist on the mic check out Gang Green. Iím rapping 30%...I donít know the percentage, but Iím rapping a nice amount more on my next album. Iím more comfortable with it.

You can check out the new Step Brothers song that me and Evidence put out called ďSo Fresh.Ē Thatís on YouTube. Iím rapping on that and it seems like everybody likes it. That video really showcases our lifestyle. I think Iím going to end up using that for Chemical Warfare because Iím getting such a good response for it. We really live that shit. Itís really authentic to put that out there. I rap here and there. I find time to get my bars off. For example, the Snoop record with Jada, it was like, ĎYo, you gotta rap on this.í Everybody from my camp and at the label was telling me that so that they could make the connection. I made the decision not to because it was too gangsta.

I can rhyme with guys like that because I rhyme with P from Mobb Deep all the time. On that one I just felt like I didnít want to mess that up. Sometimes it doesnít work. Sometimes Iím starting a beat and I catch a flow because Iíll hear the rhythm in my head the same way I programmed my snares and Iíll catch it. Your voice is an instrument and sometimes Iíll get in a rhythm and the next thing you know the beats arenít even finished and Iím writing a fucking rhyme like, ĎWhat am I doing?í Sometimes Iíll stop myself hours later asking myself if Iím really going to rap on the beat or if Iím just bugging out. I might recycle those bars and use them later and sometimes Iíll say fuck it and put the song out. Sometimes I do and sometimes I donít.

You have some interesting collaborations on The Cookbook. How did you go about pairing MCs on songs?

I think at the end of the day, hopefully, I would be the common thread between all of those artists in some way. I always felt like I could be that kind of producers. I could work with Mobb Deep and Evidence and Dilated Peoples. I always felt like I could be the bridge because those are worlds that donít always go side to side because itís ďbackpackerĒ and ďstreet rap.Ē I always felt like I would be the common thread to it because itís all about music at the end of the day.

A collaboration between Keak Da Sneak and P, Keak was in New York and we all got together and I wanted P to rhyme to a beat that people wouldn't expect him to rhyme to. We did a video for it and it wasnít something New York or something that you would expect from him. I guess when it comes to compilation albums, itís already understandable that not every song has to have a concept and they donít all have to connect with each other as long as musically and aesthetically it all fits with each other and I felt like this selection worked out.

I had a lot of joints to pick from, mind you. Some of the ones, I wanted to put them out now and a couple of other ones I saved. I got a record with 3-6 Mafia and Juvenile. Thatís one of my favorite joints. Itís hard. Itís some shit. Itís something that Iím excited to put out too.

Are fans ever surprised by the collaborations you pull off?

I guess but itís weird because it seems like I end up having so many different types of people who like my shit for different reasons. It makes me laugh, kind of, because nobody could know me how I know me but sometimes people try to figure out because of the music that I drop that they know me but you could never know me because Iím nuts! The next moves Iím making wonít hit until Iím making other moves.

Itís futuristic in a way. As long as I know itís good there might be a delay on it for a year or two months before people can say, ĎThatís that shit.í Itís funny. Itís humorous to see people claiming me and liking the shit I did for Swollen Members in í99 and then someone else likes me for my Mobb Deep shit and they donít know what the other person is talking about. They try to put me in categories. My thing is, put me in any category and make sure you spell my name right. Spell my name right. As long as you keep saying it, spell it right and Iím going to keep on giving you things to argue about.

Why was Talib Kweli taken off The Cookbook?

It was just some clearance issues. There was some confusion on that side of things with clearances and bullshit and they got some issue where they were worried about something and then when I spoke to Kweli he was like, ĎNah, man!í I donít speak with the artist about that shit. We keep it on a creative level but I spoke to him after it already happened and I love Kweli. He killed it too and I was hurt that I couldnít even keep him. Then I found out that after they yanked him it wasnít that big of an issue so now Iím going to put it out. The version with Kweli is going to come out too. I told Kweli not to worry and we were going to leak it out anyway. He was already on the original so itís only right.

Fans have been waiting for your album Chemical Warfare for awhile. Are you almost done with it?

This is Chemical Warfare. If you like The Cookbook then you have successfully put one foot into Chemical Warfare. If the temperatureís right in February then you can dive in. I got a couple of last minute strings Iím pulling to make it super-explosive. Itís going to be the usual suspects and I donít want to blow it up too much.

Whatís the biggest surprise on Chemical Warfare?

I think the whole project in its own is something to me thatís all together. I couldnít really cite one record or one moment. I have a record with Twista and itís something special and I have a record with Kool G. Rap. Iím rapping on both of them with them. To be rapping on records with people of that caliber, theyíre beyond veterans and O.G.ís to me. Both of them. Not to compare them or put them in the same category in any way, but those records are special to me because I donít look at myself as a rapper. Both records I had laid my verses. They were songs that I had and I sent them to them to get their approval and make sure that they fuck with it. I made sure that they were cool with how I was rapping on it and they said it was that shit. To hear that from Kool G. Rap, I was like, ĎYes!í Both of them were a concept and a style that I had to lock in. Those are dope to me. I canít wait to put those out. I did a couple of joints with Kool G. Rap. They will both come out, one way or another.

As far as producers that rap, where would you rank yourself?

I donít know but I have the confidence to go up with any of them, creatively and respectfully. I love them all. I feel like if you do all of that shit and if you rhyme and make beats and you can engineer and cut and do all of the shit that we can doÖIím in the studio and I scratch and do everything. I make the beat, record myself, mix the record myselfÖIím not saying thatís an incredible beat but Iím saying that the people who can do all of that shit, itís a secret gang. Every time I see them, whether itís Juju or itís Diamond or itís Large Professor or itís Evidence, itís like, ĎAll right!í Itís another category of shit and all the producers that rhyme, I love that shit! Pharrellís a producer that rhymes if you want to keep it 100. I love his shit too. I love it all across the border.

Are there any producers that should not be on the microphone?

(laughs) Any producers that should never touch the microphone? Yeah, Iím sure there are and theyíll probably never again touch it. But itís not my business to speak on it. Iím trying to think. Who can I drop a brick on? (laughs) Who could I pulverize real quick because this is HipHopGame? It will be televised or internetivised or whatever they call it. Let me think, man. Who has wax dropping off of him? I canít even do it. Peace to everybody. I love you all. Iím going to be like Russell Simmons on the end of Def Jam Comedy. Thank you all and have a good night. (laughs)

Come on.

Iím trying to think, man. I get a lot of love. Iím trying to think. Who is wack? Who in your opinion has no business?

Ron Browz.

You think?

Great producer.

Youíre not feeling that? Itís so robotic it might not have been him. It might have been Ron Browzí robot. You know what? He gets a pass because he ainít really on there busting. He ainít like, ĎEhhhh,í coming with it-with it. UmÖNah, I ainít even going to do it. I like everybody. Thereís some wack motherfuckers out there. Letís make a blanket statement that covers all people. That covers all people. But his beats are so crazy that even if he put a rap on it I would let him go.

Like I said, great producer.

Heís underrated in my opinion. He always was. He dropped so many joints that were great records and bangers. I mean, on the strength of all of those records that he did, he never really got his shine so now that he has a hit record out and heís doing that shit, I look at it like that. Another reason, do you go out to the clubs?

Iím in the middle of Virginia and teach all day in the middle of the country. Thereís really no clubs where I live.

Damn. Well, Iíll just tell you, if you go to a club and that record goes on and you are a heterosexual man who likes women, I canít see how you wonít like it because the broads go crazy. So if a record makes the women go crazyÖI DJ sometimes at big parties...That record works, man. So that record gets a pass in my opinion. If it makes girls gyrate in certain ways, I gotta appreciate it for that moment while youíre sipping liquor. T-Pain even gets a pass because it works. But when I wake up in the morning and Iím ready to make some new shit, I donít throw on those records.

Maybe if I was in New York I would feel differently.

Yeah, but I could see how being a teacher and working with HipHopGame that you could say that Ron Browz has no business doing that. I feel you. But shout out to Ron Browz. Thatís my man and his beats are nutso and Iím glad he has a big record. So thatís how we can even it out. This is HipHopGame. The world is going to hear this so I ainít gonna say nothing crazy.

Do you think Auto Tune has been used to death at this point?

Absolutely. Iím not a fan of doing the same thing over and over. I hear records I like but Roger Troutman is turning over in his grave right now! (laughs) I wish we could bring him back for a minute and he could speak on it. Sometimes this music becomes trendy and they jump open any style and sound and itís right for the minute but people have to understand that itís a harmonizing tool. It should be more comfortable for your ear to listen to. If everybody was doing the distortion effect right now it wouldnít have as much of a run but this shit makes it comfortable. Those records ainít hard to listen to. They sound annoying at times but they ainít hard to listen to. Please, come with some new shit.

A lot of producers have weighed in on Kanyeís latest album 808ís and Heartbreak. Whatís your take on the album?

I havenít heard the whole record in its entirety but my analysis of what heís doing right now and how his music is, heís expressing himself right now. This is his expression. He had something major happen in his life. His mom died. This is his latest album since his mom passed and you donít get over that kind of stuff passed. Iím not saying heís making music because his mom passed, but you go on journeys musically and heís letting out how he feels so on that note, I give him nothing but respect and credit for changing the game and just doing shit thatís however the fuck he wants to do it and if the people understand it they do and if they donít they donít.

Itís some Bob Dylan shit. At the same time, if youíre asking me if I play that all day, I like when he rhymes all day. Thatís me, personally. Iím a b-boy motherfucker and Iím stuck in my b-boy ways sometimes. I love what he does though. The man is not afraid to turn corners and do some other shit and a lot of the stuff that I heard, Iím going to give him the benefit of the doubt because of what heís done in the past the same way people give me a pass when I drop some new shit. Maybe itís going to take them a year or six months but Iím still rocking with him because heís super-innovative and creative. Heís still hip-hop. The music that heís dropping right now could be categorized in other categories but he still is a hip-hop dude.

Maybe heís pulling an ill trick and when he drops his next project with ill rhymes itís going to sound that much better. Maybe heís doing some fly shit. ďLove LockdownĒ kind of came out without drums almost and then everybody started doing their electro remixes to it and then those started blowing up. Maybe he was on some futuristic shit to it and he did that so they could put their old drums to it. Iím not mad at that. Kanye West is the man.

Whatís the last album thatís dropped that youíve loved?

The Layover EP. Thatís the latest one.

Why am I not surprised you said that?

You know, come on, what do you think, Iím a bozo over here? The Layover EP, Planet Asia and Muggsí album Pain Language. Oh, Blu and Turock. Itís called The Piece Talks. Awesome album. Great. Nothing but character. Play it from beginning to end. Banging. Bluís been bubbling for awhile. Below the Heavens was slept on. It bubbled and if you want to get a good representation of Blu, play that right now. I think heís still starting. Heís got a lot of fans to win over still. I wasnít tripping as much on his album and Evidence said I had to give it more of a listen and I did. Also the beats were crazy on that shit too. Weíve worked together too. I see that he gets busy. Heís ill.

Why do you think you and Evidence have such good chemistry together?

Weíre damn-near family. We went to high school together and weíve never fell out or were not cool. He stayed working on music and we always stayed in the loop. Go watch the video for ďSo FreshĒ and youíll see. That wasnít scripted. That was just the homie with the camera. People are more open to our lifestyles off of that song. People are saying that theyíre so jealous that thatís how we live every day in L.A. People tell us how good we got it. Itís the lifestyle. The music is the byproduct of everything else. If we were just going to put a song out I donít think people would have connected to it. People want to buy into the lifestyle and they needed the video to do that.

And plus I always beat him in ping pong all the time. He has a hard time with that. Itís an ongoing thing. He just canít beat me.

Is it a coordination issue?

He always thinks heís going to beat me and I put him in his ping pong place every time. I spent time playing ping pong in high school. I was the No. 3 ping pong champ for many years. I went to Japan recently and picked up some new techniques too. So thatís what really intimidated him the last time we played. Just the mention that I had come back from Japan kind of psyched him out.

Hopefully heís recovered from that now. How far along are you on your Step Brothers project?

Weíre just dragging our feet but every day Iím in L.A. weíre in the studio. The records just come as they come. ďTherapyĒ probably would have been on the album and ďSo FreshĒ probably would have been but weíre both doing projects so we snatched that one up. Me and him have a high standard but in a minute, as soon as we lock in this deal, weíre going to go full speed. We have a whole set that we do together now. We just opened up for Red and Meth. We did a two week tour with them and it was crazy. It was something right there. The show was flawless and the vibe was crazy. This was the beginning of something. Plus the reaction to the video, now weíre both like, ĎFuck that, we gotta finish this Step Brothers album.í

Do you think weíll ever see another Dilated Peoples album?

Yes. Actually I do. I do think we will see another Dilated Peoples album. Theyíre in Europe as we speak on stages that are sold out. They are performing and Iím pretty sure they would like to make more hits to continue traveling the globe and touring, which I donít think they need to but they will. Rakaaís gotta do Crown of Thorns first, his solo album and Evidence has to do Cats and Dogs first. But weíre all going to get back together and weíll add to the Dilated Peopleís legacy. Anybody who didnít get The Release Party of Evís mixtape in the meantime, go get that.

Do you consider yourself an honorary member of Dilated Peoples?

Yeah. I consider all of them family. Theyíre all quality people and they all make their own contributions. I think they would all be fine without Alchemist but itís nice to be included in their ciphers. Itís about making some shit out of nothing and making some fly shit for both camps. Yeah, theyíre family.

Have you spoken to Prodigy since his near-death scare?

Let me clear that up real quick. This is HipHopGame and people will read this. If you consider Alchemist a credible source, and you probably should because I speak with his wife and his kids on a regular basis, there was no scare lately of him dying. That ended up on the internet and it was bullshit. I saw P two days before this thing went out. I wasnít able to go see him on his birthday, which was November 2. I spoke to his wife and kids and he was good. He was healthier than ever. Heís getting Brolic, doing some pushups and not drinking and not smoking. Heís healthier than ever. Everybody can rest in peace about that. There was an issue awhile back about him getting his medicine and that worked out. I donít know if that contributed to the confusion.

We send letters and talk and all that. P is P. Heíll never change. So for the fans, nothing is changing. Heís in there writing rhymes. Heís got his fans sending him information about conspiracy shit. Heís always hitting me up to check something out online for him. Nothing stops for P. I think it was probably a blessing in a weird way because heís getting healthier than ever. Heís not drinking and smoking and shit and thatís a good thing and itís only going to do good things for P. When I first came around P, he was super health man. He drank water all day, vegetarian, if you wanted to smoke you had to go in the other room and now heís getting back to his old ways. Heís on point now and I like seeing that. Itís going to turn into something positive. P is the man. You canít take nothing away from P.

Did you guys record a lot of music before he went in?

Yeah. Well, we didnít really record so much music because we have so much music backed up already. It was more of shooting videos. He shot a lot of videos. He was shooting videos every day until the last day so we could keep sprinkling stuff. A lot of stuff we havenít put out yet so we can keep P out there. Plus he writes blogs regularly. His wife puts them up on the internet. Things are still in the working order. Plus you can go get the Product of the Ď80s album that Sid Roams put out featuring P, Twin, Un PacinoÖGo get H.N.I.C. 2 and P is going to be featured on my album and heís on The Cookbook.

Go check the video we did. Thatís one of my favorite things that we ever did. I collaborated with Devin and Slim and we break P out of jail. It was a cartoon so we could do whatever we wanted. So we broke P out of jail. He had his laptop in his cell. Check the video. You can go on the YouTube to see the ďLose Ya LifeĒ video. Itís one of my favorite things that Iíve ever done, for real.

As a producer, how have you seen yourself grow in the last year?

I feel like I grow as a human being every day. I canít say that Iíve grown as a producer in one year because I donít really analyze it like that but when I look back all of my beats sound dated. They all do. I know other techniques and Iíll always figure out ways to step up. Itís a personal thing and I donít run around saying it. Iíll rethink about how I can make things better but I donít run around saying it because thatís between me and me and no one wants to hear a complainer built Iím always thinking how I could do bigger and better.

Can you take us through the making of an Alchemist beat?

Usually I turn the lights down and Iíll put on a record. First I usually stand on my head and I get the blood rushing into my brain because it gets the ideas rushing more. So Iíll stand on my head and Iíll wait for something to catch me on the record or my face is so purple that I have to stand up. Itís good. Itís almost like a high. Iíll find a sound and Iíll go from there. I pretty much just zone out and there really isnít any method to the madness. Iíll find drum sounds anywhere. Iíll bang pots and pans into the microphone or smash metal cans. I can make my kicks. How did I make a kick? Oh yeah, I remember, I made a kick by turning the record player up really loud and just banging on the turntable and you get an 808 sound. Itís pretty fresh. I stole it from watching Numark on stage with Jurassic 5. Iíll make the kicks myself. Itís pretty much just acting like a complete asshole.

Thatís awesome.

Yeah. They donít understand. And I eat a lot of matzo brie. Matzo brie is the shit. People like to eat it with syrup and salt and thatís wack. I eat it with syrup, pancake style. That shit is pretty good. And Bottlecaps candy is pretty good too. Bottlecaps are really good.

And standing on your head.

Iím telling you, if you havenít tried it, put on a record and just stand on your head and Iíll bet you as the blood rushes, because when you sit down, the blood ends up going to your feet. You got a lot of blood in your legs and you need the blood to get to your brains actually because you need to use your brain to make a beat. You let the blood go there and itís kind of ill. Itís a technique. Itís a trick of the trade. Itís real talk. Let me add a disclaimer. If anybody passes out, I have nothing to do with that. Make sure you come up for air if you get dizzy. Itís a special Alchemist technique. I would never want to harm a fan intentionally. I want them to make some hot shit. Go and stand on your head. I just want them to do it at their own risk.

Youíre looking out for your fans. I guess you wonít toss any off the stage like Akon.

Nah, man! Iím trying to throw fans on the stage. Fuck that. Come on. Come up here. Say hi. Come on up on stage. That was wack. That wasnít a good look for Akon. I canít make a judgment on it but it didnít look good. We donít throw fans off stages, no. We jump off stages on top of fans sometimes but they donít mind it. They can hold us up and throw us back on stage.

Not like PM Dawn when KRS-One crashed his show.

Yeah! That was fresh. We gotta take it back to those days when motherfuckers just walk on the stage and just heave-ho motherfuckers right off the stage. You know what, give me this microphone! Hostile stage takeovers. Thatís why you gotta love KRS. Come on, man. We need KRS to be No. 1 again right now. Right now. Just throw motherfuckers off stages. Not fans. We like fans. Letís just take these wack rappers and just throw them into crowds. Go away! Give me the mic! Get down! Really. Letís just get on some realÖjack their fans. Theyíre our fans now.

Iím looking at what wack rapper is going to be at Madison Square Garden so I can come up there. But they might have too many goons. You know how it is now. They have the goon squad with them and they come equipped. If you want to throw a rapper off now you gotta come up with a fucking tank. Who started that? It must have been Mobb Deep. Those goddamn Mobb Deep guys coming to parties with 40 and 50 people. Now rappers have 75 motherfuckers on stage. Itís like you donít even know whoís rhyming.

My favorite shows are the ones where they let their whole Ďhood up on stage and then they canít control them and you canít tell whoís rapping and theyíre all trying to get pussy. Theyíre just trying to get up on stage so they can tell shorties, ďYou saw me up on stage. Yo!Ē Those are my favorite shows. I love those.

I was at a Ghostface show and he told all the girls where his hotel was while telling dudes if they showed up they would get beat up.

Why donít he just make copies of his key and just pass them out? ďLet me get 10 copies of that keyĒ when he checks in. ďI have 10 tickets!Ē Thatís an old school move. When you go on tour you take an extra key and you find a bitch. You gotta find the one that youíre taking and then youíre like, ĎDonít worry, here. Iíll meet you at the hotel.í You also have to make sure you have nothing valuable in the room too. Donít play yourself. Itís a good move. Thatís like insurance for the broad. Itís like, ĎOkay, well, he gave me the key so I guess Iím in.í Make them feel special if you donít have a backstage pass.

Iím telling you, you gotta put them on. Can we charge for this interview? For the people to read it? Like if you want to read it, thereís a lot of game that theyíre going to soak up.

I think we should.

I donít know. This game is priceless. Man, HipHopGame, oh! Remember. Can we print this right now? This is some quality shit right here. Weíre giving up a lot of good stuff. They could have it. They could have it, man. I love them.

Youíre being too generous.

Iím too kind. They can have that. They just have to support everything we ever do. Thatís a fair trade right? Motherfuckers are on that Zshare, Megaupload, Filefinder, download upload shit.

Would you rather have a fan hear what you did for free or not hear it at all?

I would probably rather them hear it. Then the lack of it later like the withdrawal of the drug will make them buy it next time. They gotta soak up this game.

Whatís the deal with Evidence getting charged for weed on his room service bill?

You saw that? Thatís a true story. They charged him. I had to pay for half of it too so fuck Evidence! (laughs)

How did that go down?

Itís pretty fresh, right? Marijuana in your room. We got in-room marijuana delivery. People thought we got charged. Nah. We get in-room marijuana deliveries. Usually when someone comes with that you think youíre being setup. Nah. We got the weed trump card. Weíre from California. We have our medical cards.

What was your excuse when you went to get your card?

Oh, man, a lot of paranoia. Iím a performer and I have to go on these stages and Iím very paranoid and itís very stressful.

Thatís bullshit.

Are you kidding me? And I have glaucoma too. My vision is not good. I have glaucoma and I have a lot of anxiety attacks. High anxiety. Iím very anxious. Yeah. (laughs)

You sound anxious.

Let me tell you. You should see my hands right now. Theyíre fucking shaking. I canít even hold a glass. They put the air thing on your arm and they make it official.

You mean they take your blood pressure?

Yeah! Thatís the technical way of calling it. Youíre a teacher, man. You know all of this shit. Iím just a dumbass producer. I donít know what they call it. Blood pressure. They hit your knee with a fucking mallet. Ping! They check your reflexes. It was a little slow. So it was prescribed by the doctor. I think his name was Dr. Greenthumb! It was either Greenstein or Greenthumb, one or the other!

You know, I do believe Snoop Dogg and B-Real have one so fuck that! (laughs) Call it what you want. I would love to have been Snoop Dogg going to the doctor. ďDoc, I think I need a weed prescription. Iím Snoop Dogg!Ē (laughs)

What kind of equipment are you using today?

The ZR 11, which is something special that a lot of people donít know about. And also Iíve been messing around with the Flax contributor, which is also something that you would have to find on eBay. Iím taking it back to the analog days. Iím going on that route with it. Theyíre both tools of the trade. If they can find it, they can find it. There arenít many Flax Contributors out there. Go hard.

Youíve always had songs coming out at a pretty consistent pace. How important has that been to maintaining a steady buzz in the game?

Super-important because when I first started making beats and when you dig for artists, you would find certain records like jazz records and you would find artists that you like when you sample and then you want to get their whole catalogue so then you start hunting and a lot of times youíll find their first record and then youíll start going up with their catalogue and then find out that they were gone after dropping three albums in a row and then itíll be six or seven years before their next album and I always wondered what was up with that big gap in their career. What happened during that time?

Fuck that, man. That was my thing about making beats and realizing that if I just stay a producer, I wouldnít have control over my career because I could only come out with my music when a label clears it and when they clear samples and whether the sample might not clear at all. You might get paid and it still wonít come out. I started getting frustrated. I wanted to control it. There were some periods of time when I was killing it and nothing was coming out and if I was a fan I would be thinking about whatís up with Alchemist. My hands would be tied. Samples werenít getting cleared and I couldnít control my career.

Thatís when we started doing stuff with ALC Records and clearing samples. Thatís whatís important to me now. Whether itís a major label album with Lilí Wayne or a project for Gang Green or a record for Termanology or Evidence, I always want to stay putting out music. Itís important to me because I want to look back and have that discography when I was mashing all the way. There will be the ups and downs and as long as I stay with a level of quality and can last in the game, thatís all I can ask for. I saw dudes who made way more money than me and they were gone. If thatís what they wanted they got it. Iím getting what I want every day and I have no complaints.

What havenít you accomplished in the game that you really want to?

I mean, I think Iím to a lot of people a secret. There are a lot of people who know Alchemist and they donít know me as the top guy. The average person might not know but the person who does know will speak on it. Theyíll be like, ĎOh, that guy did all that stuff? Okay.í I never championed or was all about promotion for myself and I feel like after all this that we put in, thereís so much room for me to grow. Are you kidding me? When I became Eminemís DJ, okay, at that point, I had already built up a lot about Alchemist and I had already done my biggest records up to this day then. But do you know how humbling it was to have my ego that I built up and then to go on tour with Eminem and to realize that it can make you more popular to be Eminemís DJ than to be Alchemist. Iím Alchemist. ďNo, thatís Eminemís DJ. Let him in!Ē

I realized that I have so much more to go. I was going up on stages and rocking with Em and 50. I had already been on tour with Mobb Deep and Cypress and seen shit but this made me realize that I always have more to go. Always. I went to go see Kanye recently at his performance. I didnít go backstage. A lot of people were in the crowd and it was ill to watch it from that perspective. I was getting my love too, of course, but to see him on that stage made me realize that you take it where you want to take it. One thing leads to another.

I believe in me and Evidenceís project. Weíre doing some Beastie Boys shit that I chopped up and weíre doing that on stage and Iím realizing that this shit is great and that no one is bringing that element to the game. We can do it. Iím having more fun nowadays and thereís no window to it. Iím taking it where I want to take it and when I set my sights on something more thatís where Iím going to take it.

Oh, shout out to John Forte. Thatís the homie and he just got pardoned by George Bush. Thatís the only good thing I ever heard about George Bush.

Does that kind of make up for the last eight years?

I donít know. I mean, no. Not at all. But I donít know what to make of him pardoning John Forte but all right. John Forte, come on home. Itís dope, especially after hearing about Wyclef. One L and one W. Itís all good. It evens out.

And I need to keep my name up on your Audio Page. I need to see more ďProduced by AlchemistĒ up there.

Weíll give you credit for any songs you like that get posted. Just Blaze and those guys wonít mind.

Those guys, theyíre cool guys. I like that Just guy. That Justin guy.

Anything that you like, just send me an email and weíll give you credit.

Yeah! I produced this. Yeah, fuck it. Just keep me on point. All the big records that Iím feeling, we have to get the word out Ďcause thereís a lot of misinformation out there. Being that this is a credible site, we have to get the information right. That new T.I. and Rihanna song, I produced that. That wasnít Just. Thatís produced by Alchemist. That big, big, smashing hit, yeah, that was me. Itís all good, Just.

I thought you did that. I figured you were ghost-producing and just being modest.

Yeah. Rihanna didnít want me to put the Alchemist-Alchemist-Alchemist drop on it. It was messing up her yodeling. But itís all good. What kind of food does Just Blaze eat? Shit.


02-16-2009, 12:40 PM
props props

02-16-2009, 02:42 PM
read it a few days ago....

Al was pretty gracious when asked about other, obviously wack producers....

can't wait for Chemical Warfare.....

02-16-2009, 03:31 PM
good read, lookin foward to the album